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Avoid the Salmonella Egg Recall—Know Where Your Eggs Come From!

8/26/2010 12:00:00 AM

Tags: salmonella, eggs, bacteria, food safety

More than half a billion eggs have been recalled across the United States this summer because they may be tainted with salmonella bacteria. No one has died from salmonella poisoning, but thousands have fallen ill. Between May and July, 2,000 salmonella cases were reported, and an additional 40 new cases surfaced in the past few weeks.

Don’t buy bad eggs! Get your eggs from local farmers or buy certified organic, free-range eggs at your grocery store. Photo By Nick Wheeler/Courtesy Flickr 

The tainted eggs come from Hillandale Farms and Wright County Eggs, both in Iowa. The eggs span 10 different brands in 17 different states, but they can all be traced back to one person: Jack DeCoster, who is known in industrial agricultural circles for continually violating laws set up to protect workers and the environment. In 1996 DeCoster was fined after workers at his Maine factory were found handling fecal matter and dead chickens with their bare hands. DeCoster moved to Iowa to raise hogs and was fined again three years later for water pollution and animal waste control violations. In 2000 the Iowa Attorney General named DeCoster a habitual offender.

Do you know the farmer who supplies your eggs? (Let’s hope it’s not this guy!) Your best options are to buy eggs from a local farmer or to even raise your own! (Raising chickens—even in the city—is one of the hottest trends around.) If these two options aren’t feasible, know your egg labels before making a purchase. And don’t forget to watch out for these 10 brands that the tainted eggs are being sold under!

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