A North Carolina farm that recalled more than 207 million eggs due to a salmonella outbreak that sickened at least 35 people had an "ongoing rodent infestation" dating back to September 2017.
IN farmers have issued a warning after at least 22 people have fallen ill.
Insects buzzed about the chicken feed and throughout the company's North Carolina facility, which also housed dozens of rats. Inspectors discovered the bodies of dead rodents while other rats were spotted "burrowing in and out of manure piles", according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Report. In the report, it says that the farm failed to take action against the rodent infestation.
Employees were seen touching surfaces - including their hair, face, floor, dirty production equipment, trash cans - and handling eggshells and "food contact surfaces" without changing their gloves or washing hands. This activity had been going on at the farm for months prior to the salmonella outbreak. Equipment that were "sanitized" still had food debris and grime on them.
A second observation stated there were "unsanitary conditions and poor employee practices" in the egg processing facility that allowed filth and diseases to spread to equipment and the food item.
Rose Acre Farms, an IN company with a farm IN Hyde County, North Carolina, had an "unacceptable rodent activity" IN the poultry house where it produced millions of eggs for consumer across the nation. Inspectors additionally saw condensation dripping from ceilings, pipes and walls and onto production equipment.
The inspection detailed in the report was commissioned in response to the outbreak, with the probe itself occurring between March and mid-April.
The Hyde County farm houses 3 million hens and produces 2.3 million eggs a day, all distributed to stores and restaurants in states including New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Virginia, West Virginia and the Carolinas.
Illnesses have been reported in each of those states, according to the CDC, primarily in NY and Virginia.
So far 11 have been hospitalized, but no deaths have been reported.