MISSOURI: State poultry official inspects Estes Hatchery after link to salmonella outbreak
Posted: June 29th, 2012 - 10:55am
A top state poultry official inspected Estes Hatchery on Wednesday, two days after federal health officials linked the Springfield business to an outbreak of salmonella in 20 states.
Christine Tew, a spokeswoman for the Missouri Department of Agriculture, said the inspection was scheduled “at Estes Hatchery’s request.”
But Sean Richardson, one of the owners of the business, said the state suggested the inspection.
“So we said, ‘Yes, please, come out,’” Richardson said.
Richardson said he doesn’t expect to get the results of the inspection for about a week. He said the business has passed previous state inspections. Estes remained open Wednesday afternoon and had boxes of chicks ready to be mailed out.
The official who inspected the business was Rose Foster, the coordinator of the poultry health and improvement program at the state Department of Agriculture.
Foster declined to answer questions from the News-Leader. Later in the day, however, Tew issued a followup email that said the agriculture department “was contacted by the Greene County Health Department in April with general questions about preventing the transmission of salmonella at area hatcheries.”
The email continued: “We provided them the same education information we provide the public, and answered questions they had about hatcheries in their area.”
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on its website Monday that the outbreak has sickened 66 people in 20 states. The CDC said 22 illnesses have been reported in Missouri. One death was reported in Missouri, but that person’s infection was not considered a contributing factor in that person’s death.
The CDC said the U.S. Department of Agriculture is also involved in investigating the outbreak.
USDA spokeswoman Abby Yigzaw said Estes Hatchery is involved in the federal government’s National Poultry Improvement Plan. The program combats various strains of salmonella in poultry.
But the strain in this outbreak, salmonella montevido, isn’t part of the federal program, Yigzaw said.
“Since S. Montevideo ... is not a USDA regulated salmonella strain, they are not in any violation of NPIP regulations,” Yigzaw said.