Thursday, August 19, 2010


One thing we should never assume is that new food safety legislation is going to have an instant effect. Take eggs. Yes, the FDA has this year issued a new egg safety rule, meant to seriously reduce the chance that shell eggs could contain Salmonella bacteria - the main contamination risk in eggs. In fact, the majority of big U.S. egg producers and transporters are already doing most of the things proposed, and have been for years. Can they do better? Sure, there is always room for improvement, and hopefully, the legislation will help.

But if egg producers and egg transporters are being careful, how come more than half a billion eggs all over the U.S. have just been recalled because they could be contaminated with Salmonella bacteria? Everyone seems to be blaming the huge Iowa egg producers - Wright County Egg farms, and Hillandale Farms. Certainly, there is a chance that they slipped up. Let's face it, the violation record of Wright farms is not exactly great. If they break employment laws, maybe they have also been breaking the safety ones. And, there have been reports of rats...

But it could simply be that they were very unlucky. Maybe the chicks they bought were already ill, or the hen feed they bought was contaminated, or something else. The last think a food producer of any kind wants is a recall of their food products. The trouble is that bacteria are probably smarter at surviving than we are at catching them. Salmonella bacteria are proving to be one of the best. They are cropping up in almost every kind of food we eat - even in dry spices.

So, don't hold your breath and wait for things to get better. No matter what government does, or food producers and distributors do, things will never be perfect. There will always be a bad egg somewhere.

This is one type of food in which we consumers can really control our risks.



Bon appetit


1 comment:

The Gluten Free Pantry said...

I just wanted to comment your blog and say that I really enjoyed reading your blog post here. It was very informative and I also digg the way you write! Keep it up and I’ll be back to read more soon mate.