Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Incredible Inedible Egg Recall (Protect Yourself)

All of the eggs are incredible but, they aren't all so edible, as the recall expands to cover 17 states. This whole thing started back in May. No one should have eggs from that far back,(If you do, throw them away) but more seem to turn up every day. To date, the CDC states that the recalled eggs have caused 266 salmonella illnesses in California, 30 in Nevada, and 7 in Minnesota. Originally, the states being investigated for Salmonella Enteritis included California, Illinois, Missouri, Colorado, Nebraska, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa. On Wednesday, nine more states were added to the list including Arizona, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maryland, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Texas.

Eggs are packaged under the following brand names: Lucerne, Albertson, Mountain Dairy, Ralph's, Boomsma's, Sunshine, Hillandale, Trafficanda, Farm Fresh, Shoreland, Lund, Dutch Farms and Kemps. Eggs are packed in varying sizes of cartons (6-egg cartons, dozen egg cartons, 18-egg cartons) with Julian dates ranging from 136 to 225 and plant numbers 1026, 1413 and 1946. Dates and codes can be found stamped on the end of the egg carton. The plant number begins with the letter P and then the number. The Julian date follows the plant number, for example: P-1946 223.

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.

The company said the recalled eggs came from five plants and were distributed across the country under the brand names Lucerne, Albertson, Mountain Dairy, Ralph’s, Boomsma’s, Sunshine, Hillandale, Trafficanda, Farm Fresh, Shoreland, Lund, Dutch Farms, Kemps, James Farms, Glenview and Pacific Coast. (Dutch Farms said Wright County packaged eggs under its brand without permission.)

I wonder if Dutch Farms will sue over this? :)

Suppose you don't have one of the tainted cartons, but wonder what you can do at home to protect yourself. Cooking the egg thoroughly, will always be your first line of defense. Hopefully you'll find this egg storage chart helpful when planning your meals and storage.
Egg Safe Storage Chart

Is the Appearance of Eggs Related to Food Safety?
Sometimes, but not usually. Variation in egg color is due to many factors.
Blood spots are caused by a rupture of one or more small blood vessels in the yolk at the time of ovulation. It does not indicate the egg is unsafe.

A cloudy white (albumen) is a sign the egg is very fresh. A clear egg white is an indication the egg is aging.

Pink or iridescent egg white (albumen) indicates spoilage due to Pseudomonas bacteria. Some of these microorganisms—which produce a greenish, fluorescent, water-soluble pigment—are harmful to humans.

The color of yolk varies in shades of yellow depending upon the diet of the hen. If she eats plenty of yellow-orange plant pigments, such as from marigold petals and yellow corn, the yolk will be a darker yellow than if she eats a colorless diet such as white cornmeal. Artificial color additives are not permitted in eggs.

A green ring on a hard-cooked yolk is a result of overcooking, and is caused by sulfur and iron compounds in the egg reacting on the yolk's surface. The green color can also be caused by a high amount of iron in the cooking water. Scrambled eggs cooked at too high a temperature or held on a steam table too long can also develop a greenish cast. The green color is safe to consume.



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