Good Egg Gone Bad

Good Egg
Eggs are nearly a perfect food. They’re not just yellow yolk containing the fat and white containing protein. Eggs contain a wide array of essential vitamins and minerals. Eggs have vitamins A, E B1, B2, B6 and B12. They’re one of the few foods containing vitamin D. In addition, they have iron, zinc, calcium, iodine and selenium.

If that isn’t healthy enough for you, egg whites contain the purest form of protein found in whole foods. Egg protein is the standard for measuring protein in other foods. Each large egg contains over 6 grams of protein.

Bad Egg
The number of people sickened in the recent salmonella outbreak by contaminated eggs has risen to nearly 2,000. The massive recall is above half a billion eggs and growing! How sad and what a waste.

Katelyn says know the chickens you get your eggs from.

Common side effects for salmonella are diarrhea, stomach cramps and vomiting, but, in some cases, can lead to more serious illness. Salmonella can be fatal to those most vulnerable to infection: young children, elderly and those with compromised immune systems.

How could a nationwide recall happen? It’s because we don’t get our eggs from one local farm. Chickens don’t run around the farmyard pulling up juicy worms. Eating local is better and the egg recall has spurred the sale of eggs at farmer’s markets. Ninety-five percent of eggs come from mega farms, where the eggs have been washed (often in chlorinated water). The washing destroys the egg’s protective coating, so eggs are then coated with  a petroleum product. Because the shell is porous, what goes onto the shell, goes into the egg. Small producers often “dry brush” the eggs.

Salmonella is a result of dirty conditions. Hens can be infected with salmonella and pass it to their eggs in a couple of ways. The bacteria can come from workers, but also can be transmitted from rodents, which leave fecal droppings in feed troughs and silos.

Originally, the recall began at mega egg-laying facilities run by Wright County Egg in Iowa. Wright County Egg is a major egg producer shipping its eggs to widely-scattered distributors, who in turn package the eggs under a numerous brand names and send them to retail in a still larger sphere. More than two dozen brands are involved in the recall.

Should I Throw Out My Eggs?
If you want to be sure, throw out any eggs with recalled codes (see below). Salmonella can be destroyed by cooking the eggs at 160 degrees Fahrenheit for at least 15 seconds. That means not eating “over easy”, poached or soft-boiled eggs. Cook the eggs until both the white and yolk are firm. Also meringues and salad dressing containing uncooked eggs can be suspect. Investigators believe many of the reported cases of illness stemmed from people eating raw eggs used in salad dressings or meringue.

Recalled eggs should have been removed from market shelves by now. Here are the all-important egg numbers and codes from the first couple of recalls, which include Julian dates of 136-229 and now includes plant numbers 1026, 1091, 1413, 1686, 1720, 1942, 1946 and 1951. The plant number will be preceded by the letter “P” and followed by the Julian date code. You can see a photo of how to read the code here. Sell by dates vary.

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