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Egg Recall for Salmonella - Data, Action?
Old 08-21-2010, 09:27 AM   #1
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Egg Recall for Salmonella - Data, Action?

OK, so there is this big recall for eggs, but I'm having trouble putting Humpty together again based on the bits and pieces of info in the media. And I also don't see what I should be doing that is any different.

For example, from the Wash Post:

Quote:
For May, June and July, the CDC's database of salmonella enteritidis cases submitted by state health departments contained bacterial samples from 1,953 illnesses. For that same period over the previous five years, there had been on average 700 cases, Braden said.
So an added 1300 cases on top of the normal 700 over 3 months (maybe more to be reported).

and this:

Quote:
The cases found so far have been in people who became ill after eating eggs at restaurants, said Christopher R. Braden, the head of CDC's division of foodborne diseases.
I'll guess that maybe some restaurants end up mixing eggs and leaving them sit out a while (though they shouldn't), it might just be the nature of handling large quantities. And maybe more people order eggs 'runny' in restaurants (despite the warnings).

and this, for perspective:

Quote:
"At this point, we do not have any SE cases in Maryland definitively linked to recalled eggs, but we'll keep looking,"
I recall that on average (outside of this recall), about 1/20,000 eggs are expected to be contaminated. That is why they suggest you fully cook eggs, to avoid that 1/20,000 chance.

So, if we fully cook our eggs (we do) to avoid the 1/20,000 chance, what difference does it make if some higher % are contaminated?

more from LA Times:
Quote:
What should I do with eggs that are part of the recall?

Return the eggs to the store for a refund or discard them. Thoroughly cooking eggs kills salmonella bacteria. However, considering the threat of infection, consumers who prepare and eat the eggs are taking too much of a chance, said Jeff LeJeune, an associate professor at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center at Ohio State University and an expert in salmonella contamination. "It's not worth the risk," he said. Consumers with questions can visit Welcome or call Wright County Egg's toll-free information line at (866) 272-5582.

Are other eggs safe?

There's always some threat of salmonella poisoning from raw eggs.

Are all the eggs from these lots contaminated?

It's uncertain. An infected hen can lay normal eggs and then occasionally lay an egg contaminated with salmonella. LeJeune said, "you can't tell a contaminated egg from look, smell or taste."

Can't I just cook the eggs to kill the bacteria?

Yes. "Eggs if fully cooked don't pose a threat. But the problem is a lot of people like to eat their eggs sunny side up or make hollandaise sauce," LeJeune said. "We want to reduce the threat as much as possible."

How can I be sure that cooked eggs are free of salmonella?


Both the egg white and egg yolk should be firm throughout and have no visible liquid remaining.
It sounds like a lot of CYA to me. Maybe justified, but it seems to me that if you are careful with the normal 1/20,000 occurrence, you should be fine being careful with these. They do say they are safe if fully cooked (the CYA is some people will not fully cook them).

Turns out the eggs we have been eating for a few weeks fell into the latest recall (P1860). No one is sick, DW doesn't want to bother taking them back (would rather dump them then bother), and both of us are OK with fully cooking them, just as we have been.

The data I'm looking for is, if 1/20,000 is the normal 'background' infection rate, what rate has been found in these batches? I don't see that anywhere.

To make an analogy - I always wear my seat belt. If accident rates increase by 3x at certain hours or times of year, I still wear my seat belt. So what's different? Maybe triple check that my belt is latched (that the eggs are fully cooked)?

-ERD50
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Old 08-21-2010, 09:36 AM   #2
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Quote:
Thoroughly cooking eggs kills salmonella bacteria.
Another question: Does handling the eggs transfer the salmonella bacteria to your hand and then possibly to other surfaces and eventually to other food?

PS
I use Liquid Eggs.
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Old 08-21-2010, 10:28 AM   #3
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Another question: Does handling the eggs transfer the salmonella bacteria to your hand and then possibly to other surfaces and eventually to other food?

Yes, that was a concern that was mentioned in the article. Again, I'm pretty obsessive with handling procedures with eggs, chicken - any raw meat. It makes cooking with them a pain for me. I really prefer pieces that can be cooked whole. Grinding meat for a recipe becomes a real clean-up task for me.

Ever notice that every cooking show stresses to watch out for cross-contamination? They set their cutting board aside after cutting meat to avoid cutting raw veggies or cooked meat on it. But then I always see them use tongs to put the raw meat in the pan and then use those same tongs to take the meat out of the pan. Cross contamination right there.

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Old 08-21-2010, 10:54 AM   #4
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My kid worked in a grocery store for a while (part time after school) and told me that when a box of eggs was damaged, they would sort through the eggs and combine undamaged eggs into one carton so it could be sold. They also mixed brands of eggs when doing this and the store manager HATED egglands best eggs because they has tiny inked label on the egg itself making this practice harder. I have always wondered if this means that some eggs in a carton are older or were improperly stored.

I understand the need to recall these eggs and even though we cook em till their hard, there is good reason to be cautious. Eggs are used in ways in home cooks kitchen that may not meet safety recommendations. Licking a beater from the cake batter or tasting the cookie dough can make you sick and we often do this without thought.
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Old 08-21-2010, 11:00 AM   #5
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ERD50,
I see you live in Illinois, did you buy Dutch Farms eggs? They're not part of the recall. There were articles that Dutch Farms egg boxes were still mistakenly used by this distributor to states outside of Illinois and Dutch Farms stopped doing business with this company since 2006.
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Old 08-21-2010, 11:12 AM   #6
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ERD50,
I see you live in Illinois, did you buy Dutch Farms eggs? They're not part of the recall. There were articles that Dutch Farms egg boxes were still mistakenly used by this distributor to states outside of Illinois and Dutch Farms stopped doing business with this company since 2006.
This is another area where the media is making things more confusing than necessary. They list some 13 brands involved in the recall - distracting and semi-useless information.

There is a much shorter list of PLANT CODES (six at last count I think). These plants provide eggs that are packaged under many different 'brands'. So a 'brand' name means maybe in the recall, maybe not. But a Plant code means yes, in the recall. Why focus on a longer list that conveys LESS information than a short list?

But to answer your question, HillanDale, Costco, P1860-22411. P1860 was just added, and they say the next three digits are the day of the year, and 224 falls into the range of the recall. They don't tell us about what the next two digits mean. Maybe the hour they were packed, the line, the line/shift?

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Old 08-21-2010, 11:20 AM   #7
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Eggs are used in ways in home cooks kitchen that may not meet safety recommendations. Licking a beater from the cake batter or tasting the cookie dough can make you sick and we often do this without thought.
Even more cause for concern, homemade mayonnaise! Tastes so much better than store bought/jar type. I started making this about 2 years ago because I hated the blandness of the jar type. But makes you really think about it when you have to worry about salmonella.
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Old 08-21-2010, 11:24 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Janet H View Post
Eggs are used in ways in home cooks kitchen that may not meet safety recommendations. Licking a beater from the cake batter or tasting the cookie dough can make you sick and we often do this without thought.
Yes, they are being cautious I guess, and they probably need to be.

DD made chocolate chip cookies for friends a couple days ago, at that time I had checked and our eggs were NOT in the recall (they have since been added). Since she used our new convection oven, I over-saw a bit, and thinking about the egg recall going on, I made sure that the cookies were thoroughly cooked (I like 'em cripsy anyhow ).

Today we mentioned to her that those eggs are NOW in the recall, and we joked "You didn't eat any raw cookie dough did you?" (because she "knows" she shouldn't). She kinda scrunched her face, and said sheepishly, "... ummm, a little....".

She's extremely healthy (just got back from her XC run), so I'm not worried. Maybe that taught her a lesson though. Use pasteurized eggs for your raw cookie-dough fix!

-ERD50
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Old 08-21-2010, 11:42 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Dimsumkid View Post
Even more cause for concern, homemade mayonnaise! Tastes so much better than store bought/jar type. I started making this about 2 years ago because I hated the blandness of the jar type. But makes you really think about it when you have to worry about salmonella.
Interestingly enough, it sounds like you want to keep your homemade mayonnaise at room temperature for two to three days! As long as you have enough lemon juice to provide proper acidity, this takes care of the little buggers.


The fate of Salmonella enteritidis PT4 in home-mad... [Lett Appl Microbiol. 1999] - PubMed result

Quote:
The fate of Salmonella enteritidis PT4 in home-made mayonnaise prepared with citric acid solution (citric acid concentration of > or = 4.98% (w/v)) was investigated. It was found that pH of mayonnaise is closely related to the ratio of egg yolk to citric acid, and the inactivation rate of the micro-organisms increases as the ratio decreases and/or incubation temperature increases. To achieve Salm. enteritidis PT4-free home-made mayonnaise prepared with pure lemon juice (citric acid concentration > or = 5% (w/v)), it is recommended that the pH should be 3.30 or below, or, in practice, at least 20 ml pure lemon juice per fresh egg yolk should be used. For the use of 20-35 ml pure lemon juice per egg yolk, the product should be held at 22 degrees C or over for at least 72 h and for the use of over 35 ml pure lemon juice per egg yolk, for at least 48 h before consumption or refrigeration.
20ml ~ 4 teaspoons; 35ml ~ 7 tsp; 22C ~ 72F. pH 3.3 is quite acidic. The phosphoric acid sanitizer I use for brewing is meant to be 3.0 or lower, and it is said to work near instantaneously (though FDA requires 1 minute or something). But you drain it before using, you aren't consuming it directly (the residual gets diluted and buffered).


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Old 08-21-2010, 11:53 AM   #10
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Old 08-23-2010, 01:21 PM   #11
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I worked in the dairy section of a grocery store for over 10 years and the egg company used to regularly send someone to repackage eggs when some were broken. That mixed up expiration dates for sure.

I grew up licking the beater, bowl, or spoon. There were 3 of us, so mom had to come up with 3 things to pass out to us, or there would have been fights. There were anyways, as the bowl was the mother lode!

I am trying to use egg beaters in my baking as DD loves to lick the bowl and spatula.
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Old 08-25-2010, 09:01 PM   #12
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I used to do 200 liter preps of Salmonella bacteria for my graduate school work. We used a large 250 liter fermenter to get about 600 grams of cell paste after centrifugation of the liquid. It was like peanut butter that smelled like ****. Sure, I wore gloves, but no face masks. I washed my hands, but when you're working with that much stuff, there is no way it is not in your hair, your clothes, etc.

Never got sick either.
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Old 08-25-2010, 09:36 PM   #13
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At least you won't have to feel too bad for these egg producers that have the salmonella problem, they'll just pasteurize them and divert these to produce mayonnaise and ice cream.
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Old 08-25-2010, 09:40 PM   #14
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Yolks firm? There goes soft boiled eggs, eggs over easy, anything but hard boiled or hard fried. Gross!

Ha
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Old 08-25-2010, 10:15 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Janet H View Post

I understand the need to recall these eggs and even though we cook em till their hard, there is good reason to be cautious. Eggs are used in ways in home cooks kitchen that may not meet safety recommendations. Licking a beater from the cake batter or tasting the cookie dough can make you sick and we often do this without thought.
I haven't seen cake batter or cookie dough in years. I just pick up the finished product in the deli.
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Old 09-20-2010, 11:03 PM   #16
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Took all this time for the price of eggs to get back to normal....XL eggs for .69/dozen! I thought I got at a pretty good price for .89 last week!
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Old 09-21-2010, 07:34 AM   #17
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Took all this time for the price of eggs to get back to normal....XL eggs for .69/dozen! I thought I got at a pretty good price for .89 last week!
No where near that price where I live. I saw $1.34 yesterday. I bought 1/2 doz for .64 cents as I just don't eat them that often. Threw out some the other day as they were too old. Every now and then you see them for under $1 a doz. Well, possibly more often than that as I'm not in the egg bin that often. I'm usually in the med aisle.
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Old 09-21-2010, 08:48 AM   #18
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No where near that price where I live. I saw $1.34 yesterday. I bought 1/2 doz for .64 cents as I just don't eat them that often. Threw out some the other day as they were too old.
From what I've read, eggs don't go bad when they get too old, only shrink in size from evaporation. You can still eat them.

As for price, I'm sure it all relative based on local pricing. At the height of this last outbreak when they tossed out millions of eggs, the price jumped to $1.29, so a good sale is in the .69 - .89 range. Sometimes, it gets down to .39-.49 on a really good sale w/o a minimum purchase dollar amount. This is in the Chicago area. Even milk is going for really cheap lately, there's so much out there on sale for $1.99/gal that I'm seeing an extra 50% off that as the expiration dates get close, like 3-4 days from last saleable date. I haven't seen this happen ever around here. Helps us out as we have a growing weed (10 yr old) to feed!
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Old 09-21-2010, 09:20 AM   #19
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From what I've read, eggs don't go bad when they get too old, only shrink in size from evaporation. You can still eat them.
Let me Google that:

"shelf life" +eggs - Google Search

This website says they remain good in excess of ten weeks -- that's six weeks past the "Sell by" date:

STATPub.com Agriculture Commodity Market News
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Old 09-21-2010, 10:30 AM   #20
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From what I've read, eggs don't go bad when they get too old, only shrink in size from evaporation. You can still eat them.

As for price, I'm sure it all relative based on local pricing. At the height of this last outbreak when they tossed out millions of eggs, the price jumped to $1.29, so a good sale is in the .69 - .89 range. Sometimes, it gets down to .39-.49 on a really good sale w/o a minimum purchase dollar amount. This is in the Chicago area. Even milk is going for really cheap lately, there's so much out there on sale for $1.99/gal that I'm seeing an extra 50% off that as the expiration dates get close, like 3-4 days from last saleable date. I haven't seen this happen ever around here. Helps us out as we have a growing weed (10 yr old) to feed!
Here I live in the poorest state of the country and we have higher food prices than almost anywhere. A gallon of milk is $3.29 here. Occasionally you can find it for $2.99.

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Let me Google that:

"shelf life" +eggs - Google Search

This website says they remain good in excess of ten weeks -- that's six weeks past the "Sell by" date:

STATPub.com Agriculture Commodity Market News
These were about a month past the expiration date. I gave my dog a boiled egg and he got the squirts. I took this as a bad sign. Normally, he does find on them.
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