FDA Continues to Investigate Nationwide Salmonella Outbreak

The Food and Drug Administration continues to investigate what caused a nationwide salmonella outbreak that's prompting a massive egg recall.

Some experts are blaming the government for not doing enough to protect consumers.

It's one of the largest egg recalls in recent history.

This week alone, more than a half-billion eggs have been recalled.

Now, the Food and Drug Administration wants to know what caused the salmonella outbreak.

"We want to say the FDA is aggressively investigating this rather large outbreak of salmonella illnesses, working closely with our partners at the CDC and local and state health departments," said Jeff Farrar, with the Food and Drug Administration.

Hillandale Farms of Iowa is the second farm to issue a recall of 170-million eggs under five brands; the cartons are stamped with plant numbers

Officials say the recall is related to the first one issued by Wright County Egg, also in Iowa.

So far, more than 1,000 people have become sick in at least four states.

Americans consume about 220 million eggs a day, and it only takes eggs produced in one plant to affect consumers all across the country.

“It’s serious. Consumers can get very sick and ill by eating salmonella contaminated eggs," said Chris Waldrop, who works for the Consumer Federation of America.

He blames limited resources and an outdated system of inspections for repeated food outbreaks.

"Right now, the Food and Drug Administration doesn't have the authority to prevent these contamination events from happening. They can only react to them after the fact,” Waldrop added.

The House passed legislation a year ago that would allow the FDA to inspect plants more often. But the Senate has yet to schedule a vote.

Health officials urge consumers to return any contaminated eggs to the store for a full refund.

Properly cooking eggs should kill any dangerous bacteria.

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