On July 9, 2009, FDA published in the Federal Register a final rule that established a regulation part 118 (21 CFR part 118) entitled "Prevention of Salmonella Enteritidis in Shell Eggs During Production, Transportation, and Storage." The egg rule in part 118 requires shell egg producers to implement measures to prevent Salmonella Enteritidis (SE) from contaminating eggs on the farm and from further growth during storage and transportation, and requires these producers to maintain records concerning their compliance with the rule and to register with FDA.
In other Salmonella enteritidis news, the CDC just announced that "Approximately 200 isolates were [of the most common enteritidis strain] uploaded to PulseNet on a weekly basis during late June and early July compared to an expected ~50 uploads a week on average during this same period in the previous 5 years. Many states have reported increases of this pattern since May."
CDC also states:
Epidemiologic investigations conducted by public health officials in California, Colorado, and Minnesota have revealed several restaurants or events where more than one ill person with the outbreak strain has eaten. Preliminary data suggests that shell eggs are a likely source of infections in many of these restaurants or events. State partners, FDA, and CDC, conducted a traceback and found many of these restaurants or events received shell eggs from a single firm, Wright County Egg, in Galt, Iowa. FDA is currently conducting an extensive investigation at the firm in Iowa. The investigation includes CDC participation and involves sampling, records review and looking for potential sources of contamination, such as feed.
Wright County Egg has recalled shell eggs with the following brand names: Lucerne, Albertson, Mountain Dairy, Ralph’s, Boomsma’s, Sunshine, Hillandale, Trafficanda, Farm Fresh, Shoreland, Lund, Dutch Farms and Kemps. Eggs are packed in varying sizes of cartons (6-egg cartons, dozen egg cartons, 18-egg cartons) with Julian dates ranging from 136 to 225 and plant numbers 1026, 1413 and 1946. Dates and codes can be found stamped on the end of the egg carton. The plant number begins with the letter P and then the number. The Julian date follows the plant number, for example: P-1946 223.
With an outbreak the scope of which may be as monumental as the CDC figures intimate, it will be interesting to see which of the Salmonella enteritidis "prevention measures" set forth in the FDA’s Egg Rule Wright County Egg was, or was not, implementing.