An Iowa State University laboratory is conducting as many as 150 salmonella tests every day now that Iowa farms are subject to new federal inspections. The extra testing got underway shortly after last summer’s massive egg recall from two Iowa poultry operations.

Darrel Trampel, a poultry veterinarian with the I.S.U. Extension Service, says when federal inspectors suspect there may be salmonella on an Iowa farm, I.S.U.’s diagnostics lab tests a lot of eggs. “If the (chicken) house is found positive, then that producer must submit 1000 eggs from that flock, on four different occasions, about two weeks apart,” he says.

“An environmental test will lead to 4000 eggs being tested.” No eggs have tested positive for salmonella so far. Salmonella testing at the I.S.U. lab has quadrupled and officials are hoping state lawmakers provide an extra half million dollars in state funding to cover the extra costs.

Experts from the I.S.U. Vet College briefed the Iowa Senate Ag Committee on the new federal program which began in July.