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Egg recall has little effect on Alabamians, says Farmers Fed

The recent recall of more than a half billion eggs from an Iowa production facility is serious, but needs to be kept in perspective, said Alabama Farmers Federation Poultry Division Director Guy Hall.

“The recall represents less than 1 percent of the eggs produced in the United States,” Hall said, “and none of the tainted eggs have been reported in Alabama.”

Nearly 2,000 people have been sickened by salmonella linked to eggs in recent months, and the number is likely to rise, authorities say.

Poultry is Alabama’s leading industry and the state ranks third in the nation in broiler production. Poultry has cash receipts of more than $2.9 billion per year in the state, but table eggs make up a small portion of that, Hall said.

“Consumers should use proper care any time raw foods are handled,” Hall said, adding that if eggs are cooked thoroughly, they are a very safe, affordable and nutritious source of protein in a balanced diet.

Eggs affected by this recall were distributed to food wholesalers, distribution centers and food service companies in California, Illinois, Missouri, Colorado, Nebraska, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa. These companies distribute nationwide.

“Farmers are doing their part, too,” Hall said. “They have been employing tougher food safety measures to help protect against food-borne illness.”

Those practices include the use of modern, sanitary housing systems; stringent rodent control and bio-security controls; inoculation against salmonella; cleaning and sanitization of poultry houses and farms; and testing.

For more information on proper handling and preparation of eggs and answers to other frequently asked questions, visit www.eggsafety.org.