Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Egg recall

As the Salmonella contamination egg recall continues to unfold, consumers are getting a better picture of how eggs get to their tables. Democracy Today’s Amy Goodman, http://www.democracynow.org/2010/8/24/largest_egg_recall_in_us_history, interviewed Food & Water Watch’s Patty Lovera, assistant director of the food safety group and David Kirby, journalist and author of the book Animal Factory: The Looming Threat of Industrial Pig, Dairy and Poultry Farms on Humans and the Environment. Website: “AnimalFactory.com” http://animalfactorybook.com/.

These massive recalls of contaminated food illustrate the vulnerability of allowing our food system to become dominated by a small group of corporations and individuals. John Sheffius of Boulder Daily Camera captures the political relationship in today's cartoon, http://www.cagle.com/politicalcartoons/PCcartoons/sherffius.asp.

Protect yourself from eating contaminated eggs by washing your hands, countertops and utensils after handling raw eggs. That will avoid transferring any Salmonella that may be on the shell to other foods.

Cook eggs thoroughly. Temperatures of 155 degrees will kill Salmonella. That means firm yolks with no liquid.

Keep eggs refrigerated. Cool temperatures retard bacteria growth, reducing the amount of bacteria.

Eggs can be washed in cool water with a splash of bleach. Warm water will open the pores in the egg shell and can force bacteria inside the egg.

4 comments:

Grammar Mom said...

Thank you for the information.

PoultryBookstore said...

This situation is chaning rapidly, as investigators learn more about the source of the contamination. However, the issues of factory farming are the underlying problem.

OlCountryTek said...

My conservative side says that this shouldn't be a government problem at all. The marketplace should be able to take care of it.

The problem is that excessive government regulation has led to market consolidation, which means that there's insufficient competition to allow the market to send the offenders to their just desserts (Ignominious Oblivion). Much of the over-regulation has been incited by the industry itself. You can always be assured that when industry insiders offer to "assist" with the creation of regulations that govern their industry, they have only one goal in mind: stifling competition from up-starts (start-ups). "We've got ours, and you can't have any of it!"

The market pendulum is starting to swing back toward small-scale local production, despite the inertial momentum provided by government subsidies to the big producers -- both in the form of tax dollars and "industry-friendly" regulation. You can bet that Big Ag's hired guns are in there sniping at every target of opportunity. If they can regulate family farms out of existence under the guise of "food safety," they'll do it.

Government hasn't been a friend to the family farmer since the end of WWII. My folks went under when Grade-B dairies were no longer allowed to sell their milk to the creameries. Oh sure! The county agent offered his help: All we had to do was find the wherewithal to at least double the size of our farm and add a milking parlor, bulk tank, etc. etc. His bottom line? "Get big or get out!" Well, some have gotten big and a lot have gotten out . . . Look where it's left us: We've got a wealth of cheap food, but it's not very good for us -- and, in some cases it can be downright deadly!

Just my de-valued two cents' worth . . .

OCT

PoultryBookstore said...

You've got the essence of the situation. The money and power corrupt the system. Government oversight, unless it is also corrupted by influence, can advocate for the public interest. I'm optimistic that USDA leadership is taking the side of the small producer.