For the second time in a 10-month period, Minnesota-based Good Earth Egg Co. has been ordered to cease operations by state authorities after the Center for Disease Control (CDC) found the cage-free egg producer responsible for two salmonella outbreaks. The CDC found the same strain of salmonella to be present in both victims of the current outbreak—which has sickened eight people, sending two to the hospital—and an earlier 2015 case wherein 52 people were sickened across six states. The earlier closure prompted the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to investigate Good Earth Egg Co.’s facilities, where inspectors found no records that indicated cleaning or disinfection of their laying house between flocks, in addition to conditions of inadequate manure removal. While the common notion is that diseases such as salmonella are more prominent in factory farms, a recent study performed on 6,000 eggs collected across various types of producers in Pennsylvania showed that salmonella was just as likely to be present in small flocks (under 3,000 birds) as it was in large.
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