Will you still eat eggs after salmonella outbreak?

An Iowa company has recalled 380 million eggs after hundreds of people got sick from a salmonella outbreak.

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Hyosub Shin, hshin@ajc.com

The recall initially affected four states, but it has been expanded to 17, including Georgia.

The most common symptoms of salmonella are diarrhea, abdominal cramps and fever within eight hours to 72 hours of eating a contaminated product. It can be life-threatening, especially to those with weakened immune systems.

Although thoroughly cooking eggs can kill the bacteria, health officials are recommending people throw away or return recalled eggs.

After the scare, will you still eat eggs? Will you use them in recipes? Do you feel safer eating eggs ordered at a restaurant?

133 comments Add your comment

Kelly

August 21st, 2010
11:28 am

Regarding the Pasteurized eggs that Clay mentioned, I am concerned that the process may destroy some or all of the enzymes in the egg, rendering it basically “dead” compared to what Nature provided. It is one of the reasons I use raw milk rather than the cooked milk most people waste their money and health drinking. Pasteurizing is, for those who don’t know, a simple heating process. For those who care about this possibility, do as I did. Research enzyme destruction temperatures, e-mail the company at the link Clay provided above, and ask them if they have researched enzyme survival in their eggs after the Pasteurization process.
Regarding chickens with salmonella on their ovaries: Once again, their immune systems are no doubt compromised from the unnatural living conditions they are subjected to. It would be interesting to research for any studies comparing “free-range” to “production” chickens, and the rate of internal salmonella infection.
I am encouraged that so many posters here seem to have common sense on this subject, and don’t allow fear to control their lives. Keep listening to your heart and not your ego!

flababs

August 21st, 2010
11:37 am

OK, so I have a dozen “bad eggs”. Can I throw them on my compost heap, or will they contaminate that as well?

nora

August 21st, 2010
12:57 pm

Heck yeah, I still eat eggs. Well I don’t eat that many eggs anyway (cholesterol and all) but I’m not afraid to eat an egg. I think it is wastefulness of the worst kind to destroy a billion eggs. There is NO WAY, NO HOW that the threat of salmonella – if those eggs were properly handled to minimize the threat – can outweigh throwing away that much food. They could still be used in products in which they were thoroughly cooked or pasteurized instead of being sold raw.

BTW, all eggs are “organic” by the definition of organic which is “of, relating to, or derived from living organisms”. For that matter ALL food we eat is “organic”. :)

Bob

August 21st, 2010
2:45 pm

I have some Publix brand eggs, are they safe?

Lily

August 21st, 2010
5:25 pm

I have four hens in my backyard. Fresh eggs every morning. It’s a good thing :)

Kelly

August 21st, 2010
6:00 pm

Nora,
The term “organic”, as applied to chicken eggs, is how the chickens are fed and raised, not what the eggs are, or derived from. Organic as relates to food production is generally defined by the FDA as being grown without the use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. The word has a different meaning to the FDA and an informed consumer than the dictionary, making your point believable only by people ignorant about what constitutes organic products. To be certified “organic” a chicken can not be fed only “dead” synthesized feed, but eats a natural diet outside, like bugs and other “living organisms”. Reread the definition you quoted. It uses the term “living organisms”. Most chickens are raised in total captivity, may never eat a living thing, and are fed man-made feed, rather than nature-made feed, so the FDA does NOT allow the term “organic” to be used to describe it’s eggs. Nobody disputes that “organic” was not the best word to describe those products, and it may someday change. All food we eat IS NOT LIVING, compared to an apple or carrot. The living enzymes can be destroyed by chemicals, preservatives, heat, and grinding, crushing processes, which makes it “processed food”, the reason the United States is among the most unhealthy of all the “civilized” nations.
Too bad the cholesterol “scare” about eggs stuck in your head. Dietary cholesterol intake has been shown to have little to no effect on the cholesterol build up in our arteries that many people experience. The bodies ability to produce the free-radicals to prevent the clogging is one deciding factor. Not all “fat” is bad either BTW. Grass-fed beef vs. grain-fed for example. Research these issues and I’m sure your level of inner peace will improve.

Ern

August 21st, 2010
6:36 pm

absolutely. I will just walk out to the backyard coop and grab a few.

VeggiGood

August 21st, 2010
7:41 pm

Does Obama eat bacon with his eggs?

SheEdu8

August 22nd, 2010
8:00 am

I buy local organic …everything. To think that factory farm foods are safe or in fact nutritious is absurd. All it proves is that as a nation we believe anything that is put in front of us to be safe as long as it is CHEAP. Many Americans will buy cheap food that is irradiated, injected, raised in cramped dirty conditions…as long as its CHEAP. You can believe all the nonsense they pitch. I am not so naive. There is a lot of information out there. The threat of disease lies in all farm production…care needs to be taken on any scale. For me I will put my trust in small local farms anyday where the food is healthier, fresh, nutrient dense and you can actually have a conversation with the grower at a farmers market.All you people that are lining up to buy your cheap factory eggs…buy an extra dozen or two, I won’t be needing them.

shangi

August 22nd, 2010
1:22 pm

Cheap or expensive, an egg is an egg. A factory farm egg is just as nutritious as an “organic” backyard raised egg!! You’re all getting fooled!

Kelly

August 22nd, 2010
8:50 pm

Hey shangi,
I prefer eggs that have a dark orange yolk that you don’t have to “baby” so it doesn’t break when you turn it over, rather than the pale yellow yolks that break when you crack the egg, or drop it in the pan.
There is a big difference in the shell strength of naturally produced eggs also. I think all users of naturally produced eggs would disagree with you. It sounds to me like you have never used decent eggs in your life, or don’t have the observation skills to notice the difference.
In one of your previous posts you state: “nutritionally they’re identical and as far as safety goes non-organic is statistically safer.” Care to back up that statement with a link to some independant research? Again, users of natural eggs won’t stop using them on the basis of your statement, so you are just “preaching to the choir”. Like I stated previously, I’ve never heard of “free-range” or even “cage-free” eggs being recalled. Judging from your several posts I wonder… How old are you anyway?

Cry for the dying trees in Atlanta metro

August 22nd, 2010
10:09 pm

The grass, trees, plants and fruit are withering up and dying It’s NOT FALL yet! Why are the leaves yellow, red, and brown? Why don’t the birds chirp anymore? What is really going on in the environment? “Corexoil” has been unleashed on us. WAKE UP! LOOK AROUND! EVERYTHING is dying or dead!!!

David

August 23rd, 2010
1:39 am

If you’ve read this far you have too much time on your hands and should get a hobby.

Just like I’m a bit reluctant to eat oysters on the half shell the day after somebody dies from doing so, I won’t be making my Caesar salad dressing from raw egg this week.

Otherwise, business as usual. Glad the “bad eggs” aren’t in Georgia. Wish Nathan Deal would eat some.

shangi

August 23rd, 2010
1:42 am

dark orange yolks? Sounds like there’s blood in it.. Anyway, they probably just feed the chickens dye to color the yolks, doesn’t mean anything, it’s just “fashionable” I guess. And big deal about the shell strength, you don’t eat the shell.

shaggy

August 23rd, 2010
12:47 pm

Yep, I ate some eggs this morning. I had a hard time keeping the runny yolks out of my grits. as is usual. Now, that’s breakfast…4 over easy eggs, grits with real butter, 4 thick-cut bacon strips.
Dang, I just might have a couple of over easy egg sandwiches, with mayo and cheese. The gooey yolk and the mayo mix to flow on your fingers, so you had better have a few napkins. Me, I just lick the viscous, lava-like goo off of my fingers.
Yuuummmmmmmmmmmm!

J

August 23rd, 2010
12:49 pm

Organic eggs are not 100% safe. But due to the chickens having more room living in a free range the contact with waste is less common and therefore there is less risk of infection. This is why organic farms dont use antibiotics, if regular farms didnt use them most of the animals would die of infection due to the overcrowded cages. Watch the movie FOOD INC and you will see why organic is better. Its not only cleaner but more humane.
http://www.self.com/fooddiet/blogs/nutritiondata/2008/02/organic-free-ra.html

shaggy

August 23rd, 2010
12:56 pm

I watched “Food Inc.”. I thought much of the acting was a little stale, however Jack Nicholson’s performance as enforcer hitman, brought light to an otherwise dark story. I wondered how they managed to get the helicopter to do those stunts, while chasing Max. The special effects, provided by “Dream Works”, were outstanding and should be nominated for an Oscar. That was the real star of this flick.

glenna

August 23rd, 2010
1:27 pm

I think the idea of buying organic is mostly that there are fewer and smaller sources. When these outbreaks occur and the product (spinach, eggs, hamburger — whatever), comes from some centralized warehouse that receives goods from hundreds of sources, it is really difficult to isolate the contamination. Hens that have been raised in an antibiotic free environment may contain as many bacteria as any other, but it is less likely that resistant bacteria will be present when there is no history of antibiotic use, so whatever is there is less dangerous. Egg whites are an industrial source of lysozyme – an enzyme that kills a variety of bacteria. It is there to keep the inside of the egg free of bacteria, so it is the outside — the shell — that harbors contamination. Treating with salt, washing, etc., are methods that producers use to get rid of anything that might be on the outside of the egg, and therefore transferred to the liquid of the egg when you open it. Even if you do use an egg whose shell is covered with salmonella, and some of that gets into the cake batter, the temperature at which you cook it will kill it. Also, if you are just making a cake, and you don’t incubate the batter with the contaminated eggs, the bacteria won’t have time to grow to a density that will produce toxins that cannot be destroyed by cooking. If Salmonella is not killed and gets into your body, it grows and produces toxins that make you sick. They reproduce by dividing, so it only takes one tiny tiny microbe to make you sick. However, if you make sure your eggs are clean, you will be fine. It’s too bad the media doesn’t give us this information, and so many people panic, instead of just doing what they need to to protect themselves. You can wash eggs yourself, and if you do a good job, you will not be at risk.

Kelly

August 23rd, 2010
11:49 pm

Just as I suspected, this shangi troll has never had any experience with eggs from a healthy chicken. Those of us who have, appreciate dark firm yolks and the meaning of a strong shell that doesn’t shatter into many pieces. They are indications of the health of the chicken that layed them. Just like the “blood in them” and “feed the chickens dye” comments indicate the emotional health and maturity of the author that crapped them.
I also suspect that shangi and shaggy are the same troll and I’m starting to feel foolish responding to their asinine comments. I trust most of us realize where they are talking out of. LOL!
Nice comments glenna! I believed that the salmonella was only on the outside of the egg, until I read that chickens actually get infected ovaries, and can transmit it to the inside of the egg. No doubt this only occurs in unhealthy, immune compromised birds, like are typical in the egg “factories”. Another instance of unnatural living producing unnatural consequences and circumventing Mother Natures’ safeguards.

shangi

August 24th, 2010
7:08 am

Just as I suspected kelly has no brain. do your research, they do add dye to the feed to make the yolks darker. Yellow yolks are just as nutritious, the color means absolutely nothing, it’s just a marketing tactic. I’ve eaten all sorts of eggs from different breeds of hens in dozens of different countries. Trust me, even the healthiest hens on a pure organic diet can lay eggs with yellow yolks and a debeaked battery hen with hardly any feathers can lay an egg with your coveted dark orange yolks.

glenna

August 24th, 2010
1:25 pm

I used to work for a company (three different ones actually) who grew algae which was added to, among other things, chicken feed. The pigment of interest was called astaxanthin, it is very very red, and it contains powerful antioxidants. Chickens food containing that ate that had darker yolks which contained higher levels of certain nutrients and antioxidants. Salmon are also fed food that contains this pigment, and without it they don’t reproduce well, their muscle tissue is mushy and their flesh is not pink. These animals could be grown without this natural pigment, but they were much healthier with it. You could call this a dye, but it is not, and animals who have this as part of their diet are healthier. Thus, color can be an indicator of nutrient/health status, and obviously, dyes would cover that up. I’m not sure what ‘dye’ you are referring to, but could it be a pigment like this that also has nutritional value?

LeeInOceanside

August 24th, 2010
4:14 pm

So many eggadurations.

OILWRESTLER

August 24th, 2010
7:03 pm

What’s wrong with eating eggs? I suck the yolk with a straw and I suck it good…

shaggy

August 25th, 2010
6:35 am

Kelly,

You are a moron. However, I am going to eat 4 runny, gooey, slurpalicious eggs in honor of your stupidity.
Later, I intend to take a hen and confine her, forcing her to listen to a tape loop that repeats, “Kelly’s salmonella ovaries have dark orange yolks and crusty hard shells.” over and over and over……

Edgar

August 25th, 2010
9:50 am

Kelly, I am with you. The best eggs come from chickens that roam free on the farm. What do the chickens eat? Anything they can. They eat insects, kitchen scraps, and scratch grain out of cow manure. They eat dirt and grit. These chickens produce eggs that have yolks that are a dark yellow color and stand up in a frying pan. The shell does breaks clean. The yolk is easier to separate from the whites. I think these eggs have a better flavor than production eggs. It depends on the type of egg that a person grew up eating as to which they prefer.

When handling eggs, I think there should be 3 C’s.

Cleaning: always clean the egg prior to breaking. Most Salmonella is comes from chicken poop, and we know where the egg comes from. I like to clean mine before I refrigerate them.

Cooling: Keep the eggs cool. The center of the refrigerator is better than the door. The temperature is more constant.

Cooking: Thoroughly cook the eggs.

Following these recommendations should keep the salmonella at bay.

Victoria

August 25th, 2010
11:51 am

I buy my eggs at Ingles, which gets their eggs from North Georgia. I buy perishable foods from stores like Ingles and Publix, which buy from local (Georgia, North Carolina, Florida) sources, rather than nationwide chains which ship their eggs, dairy and produce from all over the country. Not only does that mean less gasoline is used, but the food is fresher and is not grown on “mega-farms.”
Neither Publix nor Ingles eggs are included in the recall, so yes- I’ll continue to eat eggs for breakfast.

Peachtree Pete

August 25th, 2010
11:53 am

Just don’t eat them raw or “over easy.” It’s a fairly simple rule.

shaggy

August 25th, 2010
5:45 pm

Tonight, I’m whipping up a couple of over easy egg sandwiches in honor of Peachtree Pete.
I hope Kelly stops in, because I got these eggs for $.99 a dozen, and I know she likes a good salmonella sandwich. The bacteria adds protein, and I think you will agree, a little extra flavor.

Man, those things are good. That yolk runs into the white bread and binds with the mayo. Maybe throw some cheese on them to goo em up real good.

Mike

August 30th, 2010
10:20 am

I would do as eggs are great when building muscle or lean muscle

Get lean by eating more food http://tinyurl.com/Belinda-Benn-Get-Lean-BONUSES

Bob

September 1st, 2010
11:26 am

I love Samon and Eggs, Is Samon bad now? We still got some frozen Samon in the freezer should be ok..I didn’t realize that Salmonella came from fish.

Carolyn Molyneux

September 8th, 2010
9:12 pm

I will continue to eat eggs because I buy them locally from a free-range farm that does not have diseased chickens. Factory farmed chickens are subject to all kinds of diseases. When you cram a lot of animals into a small space, you have disease. The problem is factory farming, not chickens.

catlady

September 13th, 2010
9:09 pm

I gather about 9 organic eggs per day from my eleven healthy, happy, free-range hens. I feel fairly safe about them, as I have read about the horrors that even the “good” confinement farms. See USA Today for this past Saturday. If I can’t get my eggs from my hens, I doubt I will be eating them much.

Paul Simon

September 15th, 2010
7:53 am

The Mother and Child reunion.