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Our man in Iowa, Joe Fassler, is the first person to see Wright County Egg's first response to the press, according to a company employee who handed it to him at 5:15 EST--and "otherwise, they wouldn't let me past the locked door," he says. Wright County Egg has been on the wrong end of publicity since the egg recall began.
We'll be hearing much more from Joe in coming days. For now, here's the release. Note the commitment to vaccinate all hens for its fresh eggs in the future, at the end of the fifth paragraph.
Wright County Egg Media StatementAugust 26, 2010; 5:15 p.m. EDT: The following statement is released by officials of Wright County Egg.
"Wright County Egg's commitment remains the same as it has been--to produce safe, quality eggs for our customers and to cooperate fully with FDA on the voluntary recall.
"That also means that we will work with FDA as they expand their review of feed ingredients purchased from outside vendors for our farm, as well as for their ongoing review of our farms.
"FDA while on our farm tested meat and bone meal that is provided by a third-party supplier as an ingredient for our feed and found a positive SE result. The ingredient is held separately in an overhead bin that was tested by FDA officials prior to being mixed in with our feed.
"This finding obviously is of great concern to us. As part of our internal investigation and in response to FDA's initial consideration of feed as a possible source. On August 23 we pulled and sent samples of all ingredients used in our feed for further SE testing. In addition, today we provided FDA with information about our third-party supplier and immediately notified that supplier of the testing results.
"We continue to not release any product to the fresh table egg market--instead sending out eggs for further processing and pasteurization to ensure their safety for the liquid egg market. While we are still diverting all eggs until completion of our work with FDA, our commitment going forward is that we will only sell fresh table eggs that come from vaccinated hens.
"We have received from FDA three positive environmental SE tests. It's important to understand that a positive environmental test does not mean eggs from that barn would have SE.
"Although FDA has repeatedly referenced the 483 report, we have not sen the report, and it would be premature of us to speculate on its contents. Any issues that have been raised verbally by FDA officials have been immediately addressed or are in the process of being addressed."
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