Iowa egg farms appear before Congress - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Iowa egg farms appear before Congress

WASHINGTON, D.C. (KWWL) -- The owner of an Iowa egg farm at the heart of the massive egg recall appeared before Congress on Wednesday.

During opening statements, Democratic Rep. Bart Stupak of Michigan showed photos of dead chickens, bugs and holes in hen houses at Iowa egg farms linked to the outbreak.

The salmonella outbreak has been linked to as many as 1,600 illnesses during the summer. Two women diagnosed with salmonella linked to Wright County Egg testified about their experience with the illness and their opinions about how the situation has been handled.

Austin "Jack" DeCoster, the owner of Wright County Egg, along with his son, Peter, answered questions from the subcommittee about past inspections and current practices.

The DeCosters apologized for the recall, but maintain that the salmonella contamination came from feed that was delivered to their facility.

Orland Bethel, the CEO of Hillandale Farms of Iowa, appeared but declined to testify in the hearing, citing the Fifth Amendment.

Duane Mangskau, a production representative from Hillandale Farms of Iowa, did answer questions from the subcommittee. He testified that the contaminated eggs distributed by Hillandale were obtained from a facility owned by Wright County Egg.

An FDA investigation found towers of manure and bug and rodent infestations at the farms, and an investigation by the House subcommittee found that the companies had received hundreds of positive results for salmonella in the two years before the outbreak.


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