Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley is asking questions of USDA following the recent egg recalls due to a Salmonella outbreak at Wright County Egg and Hillandale Farms in Iowa. In a letter to the Department of Agriculture, Mr. Grassley points out that recent media reports indicate that former company employees reported food safety problems they had observed while working at Wright County Egg.
In his letter, Grassley asked: 1) Did USDA receive complaints from company employees and if so, what was done to investigate these concerns? 2) What were the Food Safety Inspection Service's responsibilities in relation to these two farms? When was the last FSIS inspection conducted? 3) Is there an established process so that USDA employees or company employees and other individuals can report possible food safety violations to FSIS? And 4) Is there an established process for USDA employees to report food safety concerns to the FDA when they fall outside of USDA's jurisdiction?
Grassley also asked what USDA is doing to counter deficiencies in food safety communication within the USDA and between the two agencies and how USDA and FDA are coordinating to best address food safety concerns and ensure that food safety problems do not fall through the cracks.