Eggs Will F#@&ing Kill You: Friday Food Freak-Out Comes A Day Early"/>
My original choice in using Friday as my day to write about all the various food recalls and terrible environmental news was not arbitrary or just a nice bit of alliteration. No, the Friday Food Freak-Out became a Friday thing because Friday is the day that all companies, politicians, celebrities, PR firms--basically anyone who requires press releases to get through their days--dump whatever bad news they have, knowing full well that, with the weekend looming, no one pays any attention to the Friday news.
Yeah, that's a lot of eggs.
This phenomenon actually has a name. It's called the Friday Dump and it has been around for as long as there have been journalists and Fridays. So when some massive cereal company (like, say, Kellogg's) has to admit that their Froot Loops have been causing barfing and explosive diarrhea, they're gonna do it on a Friday when they hope the fewest people possible are paying attention.
As a matter of fact, in terms of things like food recalls, it really takes something apocalyptically massive to make the news on some other day. Something like an egg recall which has now risen to 380 million eggs--a number so large that it might as well be made up. Call it a zillion eggs, a bajillion eggs, whatever. It's a lot. And the thing that's really amazing is that right now it looks as though they all came from just one company: Wright County Egg in Galt, Iowa.So because this recall has Washington State repercussions, here's the vital details. On Wednesday, news broke that the FDA had instituted a recall of 228 million eggs that had, since May 19, been shipped to food wholesalers, distribution centers and food service operations in California, Illinois, Missouri, Colorado, Nebraska, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa, which then distributed the eggs nationwide. The eggs were suspected of being contaminated with Salmonella Enteritidis due to a sudden, nationwide increase in reported cases.
Today, the recall was expanded to 380 million eggs and the number of states was increased to include Arkansas, Arizona, Georgia, Illinois, Oklahoma, Oregon, Nebraska, Nevada, Texas, Utah, and Washington.
From the FDA: "Epidemiologic investigations conducted by public health officials in California, Colorado, and Minnesota have revealed several restaurants or events where more than one person ill with this type of SE has eaten. Preliminary information from these investigations suggests that shell eggs are the likely source of infections in many of these restaurants or events.
FDA, CDC, and state partners conducted a traceback investigation and found many of these restaurants or events received shell eggs from a single firm, Wright County Egg, in Galt, Iowa. FDA is currently conducting an extensive investigation at the firm in Iowa. The investigation involves sampling, records review and looking for potential sources of contamination, such as feed. As the investigation continues, updates will be made available."
The eggs in question are packaged under the following brand names: Lucerne, Albertson, Mountain Dairy, Ralph's, Boomsma's, Sunshine, Hillandale, Trafficanda, Farm Fresh, Shoreland, Lund, Dutch Farms and Kemps. And what the recall means is that if you've got some of these eggs kicking around in your fridge, throw them out. Salmonella is no joke, and the way this story is growing, there's no telling yet how big the recall will eventually become.
For more information, you can view the original press release here (you'll notice that it came out on a Friday...), check out the FDA's update from yesterday, or go to www.eggsafety.org for details on all things eggy.