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Massive National Egg Recall

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This past week saw a huge egg recall in the US. News reports estimate the number of salmonella-contaminated eggs somewhere around 228 million. The tainted eggs originated in Iowa, but cases of related illnesses have appeared in Minnesota, Colorado, and California. There are 13 brands involved, including store-brands from leading national supermarkets. The FDA is conducting an investigation into the Iowa firm, but it’s unlikely that this will deal with the root of the problem.

What is Salmonella?

salmonella

Salmonella is a disease spread largely by contact with feces. Symptoms include fever, cramps, diarrhea, and more serious consequences in people with compromised immune systems. Wikipedia says:

About 142,000 Americans are infected each year with Salmonella enteritidis from chicken eggs, and about 30 die.[18] The shell of the egg may be contaminated by feces or environment, or its interior (yolk) may be contaminated from the shell or from a hen whose infected ovaries contaiminate the egg. [19][20], but the rate of egg yolk contamination is theoretically unlikely [21] [22] [23] [24] and in natural conditions was found to be very small (0.6% in a study of naturally externally infected eggs[25] and 3.0% in artificially and heavily infected hens[26]).

The Root of the Problem: Factory-farming

Every year, millions of hens are crammed into tiny metal cages. These factory-farms are filthy and overcrowded. It should come as no surprise that the eggs that these birds are laying are contaminated with diseases. In addition to being cruel to animals, animal agri-business poses a serious risk to human health.

August 21, 2010  Tags: ,   Posted in: News

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