Egg Recall 2018 & Egg Safety Tips
Have you been affected by the latest egg recall? Are you concerned about the safety of your food? I am! Food safety is something I think about a lot. Since a lot of our food comes from my garden or barn, I’m very aware of the different sources of potential contamination. So when I read about this latest recall, it got me thinking about the safety of my readers. I want you to stay healthy! So here’s the scoop…
Largest Egg Recall Since 2010
Rose Acres Farm is voluntarily recalling 206+ million eggs after 22 people became ill from eating eggs contaminated with salmonella braenderup. This bacteria can cause serious and possibly fatal illness in people who are young, old, or have compromised immune systems. Potentially contaminated eggs were sold in the following states: Colorado, Florida, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia.
The FDA’s website shares a complete list of egg recall products affected. Check here to see if you have eggs that should be returned or thrown out.
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Egg Safety Tips
Even if you aren’t affected by the egg recall, it’s a good idea to follow these safety tips from The Egg Safety Center:
- Cracked Eggs – if eggs are cracked when you bought them, throw them out. If they crack after purchase, use immediately or crack into container, cover and use within 2 days. Cook them until both yolk and white are firm to kill any bacteria.
- Refrigeration – commercial eggs sold in the US must be washed and refrigerated. Once they are chilled, keep them chilled at 45 degrees F or lower. If they are left at room temp, condensation builds up on the shell and can cause bacterial growth.
- No Refrigeration? – Eggs from small farms are not required by law to be washed and refrigerated. Because the natural bloom on the shell protects the egg from bacterial growth they do not need to be refrigerated. But any egg, once refrigerated, must be kept refrigerated to prevent bacterial growth.
- Egg Shells in Carton? – It is not safe to put cracked shells back in the carton with unused eggs. This can spread bacteria to whole eggs. (Egg gunk in cartons is one of my pet peeves…for good reason!)
- Hard Boiled Eggs – Refrigerate hard boiled eggs within 2 hours of cooking and use within 1 week.
- Egg Leftovers – Refrigerate any leftovers containing eggs immediately after serving and use within 3 days.
- Off Colors In Egg Yolks or Whites – Some variation is normal in the color of the egg yolk. Chickens that are pastured or given feed high in beta carotene will have a deeper orange yolk. If white of egg is cloudy it is very fresh. Blood spots are not a sign of spoilage, but rather are caused by blood vessels breaking during ovulation in the hen, and are safe to eat. Boiled eggs may have a green ring around the yolk that is due to overcooking. However, if the egg white has a pink, green, or iridescent appearance, it has been contaminated by bacteria and is not safe to eat. If there are black or green spots in an egg, it is a sign of fungal contamination and is not safe to eat.
If you are cooking for anyone who is young, old, pregnant, or has a compromised immune system it is always advisable to cook eggs until both the yolk and white are firm to prevent illness from bacteria. Personally, I detest the slightest sign of uncooked yolk…it makes me gag!
Are Home Raised Eggs Safer Than Commercial Eggs?
One reason backyard chicken keepers raise their own hens is the desire to provide healthier, safer food for their family. But are eggs from your own hens safer than those from the store? Let’s take a look! Here are some differences between production, storage, and handling of commercial vs home raised eggs.
|Large number of hens in small area can lead to spread of disease.||Normally pastured, free range, or allowed more space, potentially reducing spread of disease.|
|No control over feed. Animal byproducts in feed are potential source of disease.||Keeper has more control over feed. Check ingredients before purchase.|
|No control over hatchery source for laying hens.||Keeper may research and order from salmonella free hatcheries.|
|Eggs often washed in same water all day, may lead to contamination of eggs.||Eggs may be stored unwashed, or washed separately in clean water with sanitizing solution.|
Do you want to sell eggs from your backyard chickens? Check out this post, How to Sell Your Farm Fresh Eggs.
Because backyard chicken keepers have more control over the quality and freshness of their home raised eggs, it follows that they are less likely to get a food borne illness eating them. However, salmonella may still be present in home raised eggs! Since these cases may not be reported, it is difficult to know for sure if home raised eggs are safer.
Salmonella may contaminate eggs (and other foods) through direct and indirect contact with feces…but you already know that. However, did you know that there’s also a type of salmonella that may be present in the reproductive system of a hen? Some hens are infected with this bacteria but appear completely healthy.
Although the chances of getting sick from your home raised eggs are minimal, it can still happen. Actually, you are more likely to get salmonella poisoning from your chickens by cuddling them or using improperly composted manure in your garden!
Bottom line? Wash feces off eggs then refrigerate them, watch for signs of illness in flock, wash hands after handling chickens, don’t cuddle with chickens, don’t use fresh manure in your garden or allow chickens to free range in your garden. Common sense, right? Stay safe, Peeps!
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