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Old 08-24-2010, 09:06 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Salmonella Outbreak: Have You Been Affected?

We eat a lot of eggs around here, and so listening to all of the news about the salmonella outbreak just turns my stomach. I feel fortunate to buy eggs from a local supplier and so I don't have to worry about it as much, but I do worry about those I know who don't buy eggs from local sources. I think in some ways this salmonella outbreak is an illustration of what's wrong with factory farming, but we'll see how that actually shakes out.

How about yourself? Have you had to throw a dozen eggs away recently because of the salmonella outbreak?

Here are some news bits about the salmonella outbreak, for those who haven't been paying attention:

Quote:
Egg Recall Expanded After Salmonella Outbreak
By WILLIAM NEUMAN

An Iowa company on Wednesday broadened a nationwide recall of its eggs to 380 million after some of its facilities were linked to an outbreak of salmonella that has sickened hundreds of people across the country.

The outbreak, which federal officials said was the largest of its type related to eggs in years, began in May, just weeks before new government safety rules went into effect that were intended to greatly reduce the risk of salmonella in eggs.

The company behind the recall, Wright County Egg, of Galt, Iowa, is owned by Jack DeCoster, who has had run-ins with regulators over poor or unsafe working conditions, environmental violations, the harassment of workers and the hiring of illegal immigrants.   click to show 
Quote:
Egg Industry Faces New Scrutiny After Outbreak
By ERIK ECKHOLM

As it reeled from the recall of half a billion eggs for possible salmonella infection, the American egg industry was already battling a movement to outlaw its methods as cruel and unsafe, and adapting to the Obama administration’s drive to bolster health rules and inspections.

The cause of the infections at two giant farms in Iowa has not been pinpointed, Margaret Hamburg, commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, said Monday in a television interview. But “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,” Ms. Hamburg said in the strongest official indication yet that lax procedures may be to blame.

One of those producers, Wright County Egg, responded that it “strives to operate our farms in the most responsible manner, and our management team has worked closely with F.D.A. through their review of our farms.”

The company, which has also been cited for farm-labor and animal cruelty violations in the past, said that “any concerns raised verbally during F.D.A.’s on-farm visit were immediately addressed or are in the process of being addressed.”

The other farm under intense scrutiny is Hillandale Farms.

Federal officials have not questioned the intensive methods that have produced cheap eggs and meat but that some criticize as cruel and bad for the environment and public health.

Animal rights advocates, who have campaigned to end the housing of hens in tiers of cages, were quick to seize on the recall. “Confining birds in cages means increased salmonella infection in the birds, their eggs and the consumers of caged eggs,” the Humane Society of the United States wrote last week in a letter to Iowa egg producers.   click to show 
And a piece about too little, too late:

Quote:
Salmonella Outbreak Could Have Been Avoided
by Leslie Pariseau

In May, salmonella cases related to contaminated eggs began to mount across the country and continue to grow today. At the center of this outbreak, the United States Department of Agriculture (U.S.D.A.) and the Food and Drug Administration (F.D.A.), two overlapping yet disparately tasked entities, were responsible for the overseeing of this food system.

As of July 9, the U.S.D.A. and the F.D.A. began to jointly oversee egg manufacturers including food safety inspections, but prior to the outbreak, the two institutions monitored entirely different sectors of egg production. Before the new standards, the U.S.D.A. took responsibility for the inspection of chickens and their living conditions, whereas the F.D.A. surveyed chicken feed and the eggs produced. Somewhere between the two, something slipped through the cracks.   click to show 
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Old 08-24-2010, 01:44 PM   #2 (permalink)
still, wondering.
 
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Old 09-04-2010, 05:00 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Nope - backyard chickens rule Not that they're 100% safe (but 99.999%), but they live in reasonably healthy conditions and eat healthy food, and we wash the eggs thoroughly before we store them.
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Old 09-04-2010, 07:14 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Location: Oregon
Quote:
Originally Posted by lurkette View Post
Nope - backyard chickens rule Not that they're 100% safe (but 99.999%), but they live in reasonably healthy conditions and eat healthy food, and we wash the eggs thoroughly before we store them.
And backyard eggs just taste better, IMO.
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Old 09-04-2010, 07:56 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I don't eat eggs very often, and didn't eat any infected ones.

But, I think the lack of government oversight and passing the buck between the USDA and FDA is half of the problem. The other half is that we need to produce so many eggs to feed so many people that if we didn't allow these big companies to operate factory farms we wouldn't have enough food.
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Old 09-04-2010, 08:51 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I'm fairly certain that these contaminated eggs are all perfectly safe, provided one cooks them thoroughly and practices good hygiene. That being said, we don't eat too many eggs around these parts, so we weren't affected.

I do think that this is another example of how the frequently toothless regulatory system in the US has failed us.
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Old 09-04-2010, 01:27 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Nope - the eggs sold here in Arizona are from an Arizona facility
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