USDA issued a public health alert for egg products due to the fact they were unfit for human consumption. This comes as FSIS investigates a recall that occurred by the Washington state company, Nutriom for a recall they had last month.
It has come to light in this notice that "FSIS issued the original recall because the company allegedly recorded false laboratory results. The company allegedly produced negative laboratory results for Salmonella when the results were actually positive, or reported that sampling had occurred when, in fact, no microbial testing was performed".
This recall expands the previous recall by an additional 118,500 lbs from the original 226,710 lbs. However, the company refused to recall the additional amount and so now FSIS will remove it.
Based upon the letter written by Nutriom in response to the USDA, Nutriom disagreed with the USDA. Further, it indicates the record keeping irregularities were the responsibility of one individual who is no longer with the company.
So it appears from that statement that this is not a system wide issue, but rather a rouge employee issue.
Nutriom produces a dried egg product using a new technology. Salmonella is an issue in egg products and in dried products, so it is important for the process to be sufficient to rid the eggs of pathogens like Salmonella, but it is also important to prevent recontamination of the eggs in the post process environment. Salmonella can survive in dry products and dry process environments for long periods of time, and so can become a environmental contaminate if not controlled.
Nutriom LLC Response to USDA-FSIS Announcement
Nutriom products found to be safe by USDA-FSIS laboratory. http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/03/prweb11713376.htm
Lacey, WA (PRWEB) March 29, 2014
Nutriom LLC is a small, family-owned and operated company, founded by an immigrant who came to this country more than 30 years ago looking for opportunity. Nutriom has developed a new technology for dehydrating eggs using its unique, patent-pending drying technology. Nutriom produces a dehydrated egg (“Egg Crystals™”) that when mixed with water and cooked, functions and tastes just like fresh eggs. It is 100% all-natural, pure egg with no added chemicals or preservatives.
Nutriom has been operating its facility in Lacey, WA since 2003 under continuous, full-time inspection by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). In February of this year we conducted a voluntary recall of some of our products in response to a request from FSIS. The request was based upon irregularities in recordkeeping that were the responsibility of an individual no longer employed by the company. There were no suggestions of any food safety problems associated with the product, but we decided to fully cooperate with the agency.
On March 26, FSIS requested that we expand the recall. Today, we notified FSIS that we are conducting a partial recall expansion of six production lots. Although products from these lots were tested at an FSIS approved laboratory and found to be safe, we have determined that a technical, non-food safety related error, occurred. Based upon our research, we concluded that there is no scientific or legal basis for us to further expand the recall beyond these six lots. We presented FSIS with substantial supporting information on our production practices, including a series of laboratory test results from both private and federal government laboratories confirming microbiological safety. For reasons that remain unclear to us, these arguments were rejected by FSIS.
It is important to emphasize that Nutriom has never encountered even a suggestion of any injury or illnesses associated with consumption of its products. FSIS inspectors had a continuous presence during production since the company’s founding. Nutriom believes it would be doing a disservice to its customers to recall and destroy wholesome egg products under these circumstances.
USDA News Release
FSIS Issues Public Health Alert For Processed Egg Products Unfit For Human Consumption Congressional and Public Affairs
WASHINGTON, March 26, 2014 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is issuing a public health alert because Nutriom LLC, a Lacey, Wash. establishment, declined to expand its Feb. 15, 2014 recall to include an additional 118,541 pounds of processed egg products for which there is reason to conclude that they are unfit for human consumption.
The request for expansion was based on evidence collected during an ongoing investigation conducted by FSIS at this establishment. The company has refused to recall the additional processed egg products. As a consequence, FSIS intends to take appropriate action to remove the products from commerce.
FSIS issued the original recall because the company allegedly recorded false laboratory results. The company allegedly produced negative laboratory results for Salmonella when the results were actually positive, or reported that sampling had occurred when, in fact, no microbial testing was performed. FSIS requested the company to include additional products, but it declined. Because the product was not produced in accordance with FSIS requirements, it is unfit for human consumption.
The following products were shipped to co-packers for incorporation into consumer-size packages:
3,884-lb. super sack of “OvaEasy Plain Whole Egg” with the lot code “H0613-B”
1,031-lb. super sack of “OvaEasy Plain Whole Egg” with the lot code “I0413-A”
958-lb. super sack of “OvaEasy Plain Whole Egg” with the lot code “I0413-A”
4,422-lb. super sack of “OvaEasy Plain Whole Egg” with the lot code “L1713-A”
The following products were packaged in consumer-sized packages:
1.75-lb. packs of “OvaEasy Plain Whole Egg” with the Julian dates “0374,” “0384,” “2683” and “2693”
66-gram spray bottles of “Bak-Klene Egg Wash” with the lot code “L1013A”
1.17-lb. packs of “OvaEasy UGRA, Reduced Cholesterol” with the Julian dates “3129,” “3228,” “3229,” “3230,” “3231,” “3281,” “3282,” “3283,” “3284,” “3337,” “3338,” “3339” and “3340”
4.5-oz. cans of “OvaEasy Whole Plain Egg” with the Julian date “2883”
571-gram packs of “Vitovo Low Fat” with the Julian date “3193”
1.1-lb. bags of “OvaEasy Boil-in-Bag UGR, Heat & Serve (HS)” with the Julian dates “3161,” “3162,” “3182,” “3183,” “3188,” “3201,” “3202,” “3203,” “3204,” “3205,” “3208,” “3209,” “3210,” “3211,” “3212,” “3213,” “3220,” “3221” and “3222”
2-oz. packs of “OvaEasy Plain Whole Egg” with the Julian dates “0074,” “0084,” “0094,” “0354,” “0364,” “0374,” “2243,” “2253,” “2953,” “2963,” “3463,” “3473” and “3483”
66-gram spray bottles of “Panera Egg Wash” with the Julian dates “0104,” “0154,” “0164,” “0174,” “0214,” “0224,” “0234,” “0244,” “0284,” “0294,” “0304” and “0314”
2-oz. pack of “Wise Company, Wise Blend” with the Julian date “0943”
On Feb. 15, 2014, the company recalled 226,710 pounds of processed egg products. To read the recall release, click here.
The dried egg products were produced from May 2013 through January 2014, and bear the establishment number “INSPECTED EGG PRODUCTS PLANT 21493G” inside the USDA Mark of Inspection. These products were shipped nationwide and to U.S. military installations in the United States and abroad, and to Mexico.
FSIS inspects egg products under the Egg Products Inspection Act. FDA typically takes jurisdiction of egg products after they leave the egg facility if they are incorporated into FDA-regulated products. In this case, USDA handled the original recall rather than FDA because the products are in consumer packages with an identifiable USDA Mark of Inspection, and FSIS had jurisdiction over the product when the contamination occurred. FSIS and FDA are continuing to work together to ensure food safety, and the management of Recall 015-2014 is such an example.
FSIS advises all consumers to safely prepare and consume egg products that have been cooked to a temperature of 160° F. The only way to confirm that egg products are cooked to a temperature high enough to kill harmful bacteria is to use a food thermometer that measures internal temperature