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Egg Recall Grows Amid Calls For Food Safety Reform

Recent expansion of the egg recall to include half a billion eggs sparks criticism of the current state of the U.S. egg industry.

two eggs

Photo: Mrs eNil (flickr)

"There is no question that these farms that are involved in the recall were not operating with the standards of practice that we consider responsible," said Margaret Hamburg, FDA Chief.

The nation-wide egg recall expanded to include half a billion eggs as more salmonella-related illness reports are cropping up.

The recall has given proponents of the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act new hope that the bill, which outlines expanded federal authority over national food safety, will be passed by the Senate.

FDA Chief Margaret Hamburg went on national television on Monday to address the egg recall.

In an interview, she criticized the procedures that the two implicated producers – Hillandale Farms and Wright County Egg, both of which acquire chickens from the same distributor.

…there is no question that these farms that are involved in the recall were not operating with the standards of practice that we consider responsible…

Some of these practices concern not only the storage and distribution of eggs, but also the treatment of the egg-laying hens themselves.

Humane Society of the United States and the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals have both issued statements condemning the extreme confinement of hens and drawing a correlation between this practice and the recent salmonella outbreak.

Symptoms of salmonella poisoning include diarrhea, stomach cramps and fever within 72 hours of contact with the pathogen.

Officials remind consumers to thoroughly cook eggs and to wash hands and utensils after contact with raw or undercooked eggs.

Previously on Earth Eats: Egg Recall Expands To 380 Million Eggs, Salmonella Outbreak Blamed

Read more:

  • Egg Industry Faces New Scrutiny After Outbreak (New York Times)
  • In Face Of Egg Recall, FDA Calls For More Authority (NPR)
  • The egg recall saga continues (Food Politics)
Megan Meyer

Megan Meyer was in the company of foodies for most of her formative years. She spent all of her teens working at her town's natural food co-op in South Dakota, and later when she moved to Minneapolis, worked as a produce maven for the nation's longest running collectively-managed food co-op. In 2006, she had the distinct pleasure (and pain) of participating the vendanges, or grape harvest, in the Beaujolais terroire of France, where she developed her compulsion to snip off grape clusters wherever they may hang. In the spring of 2008, Megan interned on NPR's Science Desk in Washington, D.C., where she aided in the coverage of science, health and food policy stories. She joined Indiana Public Media in June, 2009.

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