Health Highlights: May 16, 2018
Egg Farm at Center of Salmonella Outbreak Had Rodents: FDA 6 States Sue Opioid Maker Purdue, Claiming Company Helped Spur Overdoses
Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
Egg Farm at Center of Salmonella Outbreak Had Rodents: FDA
The North Carolina egg farm at the center of a multi-state salmonella outbreak was infested with rodents, according to a U.S. Food and Drug Administration inspection report cited by the Washington Post.
Dozens of rodents, both alive and dead, were found in and around hen houses at the Rose Acre Farms in Hyde County, the newspaper said. Thirty-five people who ate eggs traced back to the farm have been sickened since November, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Most of the cases were in New York and Virginia.
The FDA report said "unacceptable rodent activity" had been cited at Rose Acre Farms even before the initial salmonella cases were reported, the Post said. The FDA inspection at the heart of the report was conducted in March and April.
The agency said it also found large numbers of insects gathered near chicken feeds, and that employees failed to maintain safe food-handling practices, the Post said.
Last month, Rose Acre recalled more than 207 million eggs for potential salmonella contamination. The eggs were sold under brand names including Great Value, Country Daybreak and Crystal Farms.
The facility produces some 2.3 million eggs daily, distributing them to retailers and restaurants in Colorado, Florida, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and the Carolinas. It's among the largest egg producers in the United States, the newspaper said.
The family-owned farm has issued a statement saying it has taken "numerous remedial actions" to make sure the facility meets or exceeds federal standards.
6 States Sue Opioid Maker Purdue, Claiming Company Helped Spur Overdoses
Opioid maker Purdue Pharma is the object of lawsuits filed on Tuesday by six states that claim the company helped fuel an epidemic of drug overdoses linked to the painkillers.
The states include Florida, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Tennessee and Texas.
In its lawsuit filed in Las Vegas, Nevada claims that Purdue minimized the risks and exaggerated the benefits of long-term opioid use.
"Purdue's deception lined the pockets of its owners and led to the deaths and hospitalization of thousands of Nevadans," Nevada state Attorney General Adam Laxalt said in a statement, the Associated Press reported.
In Tennessee's lawsuit, Attorney General Herbert Slatery claimed that Purdue broke a 2007 settlement with his state and "knew patients were dying from overdoses and that its drugs were being illegally sold to non-patients."
In Texas, Attorney General Ken Paxton also alleged the company erroneously claimed that the opioids Purdue manufactured had no "ceiling dose," meaning that doctors and patients could hike dosages without risk.
But Stamford, Conn.-based Purdue is battling the claims.
In an email to the AP, company spokesman Bob Josephson said that negotiations with state officials to help ease the opioid crisis have already gone on for months prior to states filing the lawsuits.
According to the AP, Purdue already paid out $19.5 million in 2007 to settle similar lawsuits in 26 states and the District of Columbia, without admitting wrongdoing. Nevada, North Carolina, Tennessee and Texas were part of that settlement, while Florida and North Dakota were not.