After the summer recall of 550 million eggs from two farms in Iowa, no one's happy to hear that salmonella has struck another farm. Cal-Maine Foods Inc., the nation's biggest egg seller and distributor, is recalling 288,000 eggs purchased from a farm in Ohio where eggs tested positive for salmonella.
The eggs were distributed to eight states—Arkansas, California, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas.
Austin "Jack" DeCoster, the owner of Wright County Egg—one of the two farms at the center of the summer egg recalls—lent money to Ohio Fresh Eggs, the epicenter of the latest recall. DeCoster has a history of violations.
According to The Huffington Post, "DeCoster has often tangled with the government. He has paid millions of dollars in state and federal fines over at least two decades for health, safety, immigration and environmental violations at his farms."
No sickness has been reported so far, but that doesn't mean egg eaters are in the clear.
How can you stay safe? Here are four ways to protect yourself and your family from salmonella poisoning.
Avoid Recalled Products. This is the most effective way to ensure you won't end up in the hospital. Cal-Maine Foods, Inc. is tracking down its eggs with plant numbers and Julian dates. You can use the same information to find out if the eggs in your fridge are part of the recall. Find the recall codes here, in Cal-Maine Foods, Inc.'s press release.
Cook Eggs Thoroughly. When it comes to salmonella, runny egg yolks are bad news. If you can't go a day without your eggs and toast, be sure to cook the eggs completely. Eggs should be cooked until both the white and the yolk are firm, and eaten right away. Remember to ask for well-cooked eggs if you hit up a restaurant for breakfast.
Wash Your Hands and Cooking Surfaces: Take special care to be sanitary when handling eggs and other animal products. Remember that bacteria can spread onto non-food surfaces as well. Use separate cutting boards for raw foods, and wash them thoroughly to keep bacteria from spreading around your kitchen.
Care for Your Eggs. Discard cracked or dirty eggs. Be sure to keep eggs stored at 45 degrees Fahrenheit.
Photo: themissiah/Creative Commons via Flickr