This has gotten me thinking about lots of different things: food safety, factory farming, our use of antibiotics as a way of keeping large numbers of animals housed in extremely close quarters, and the like. But because it's Friday today, mostly I've been thinking about how much I rely on eggs as a meatless Friday staple.
Iowa's Hillandale Farms said Friday it was recalling its eggs after laboratory tests confirmed illnesses associated with them. The company did not say how many eggs were being recalled or if it is connected to Wright County Egg, another Iowa farm that recalled 380 million eggs earlier this week.
An FDA spokeswoman said the two recalls are related. The strain of salmonella poisoning is the same strain linked to Wright County Egg.
The eggs recalled Friday were distributed under the brand names Hillandale Farms, Sunny Farms, Sunny Meadow, Wholesome Farms and West Creek. The new recall applies to eggs sold between April and August.
Hillandale said the eggs were distributed to grocery distribution centers, retail groceries and food service companies which service or are located in fourteen states, including Arkansas, California, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Texas, and Wisconsin.
CDC officials said Thursday that the number of illnesses related to the outbreak is expected to grow. That's because illnesses occurring after mid-July may not be reported yet, said Dr. Christopher Braden, an epidemiologist with the federal Centers for Disease Control.
Whether we have egg sandwiches or hard-boiled eggs for lunch (or today's variation, scrambled eggs placed in soft flour tortillas and sprinkled with shredded cheese) or whether we're cooking up some BFD ("breakfast for dinner"), we frequently eat eggs on Friday. I know a lot of my fellow Catholics do the same. And while I'm blessed with non-picky eaters who will eat lots of other Friday fare, the truth is that it's hard to beat the cost, versatility and convenience of eggs as a Friday meal.
Luckily, the brand of eggs I have on hand right now hasn't been a part of this recall. Unluckily, we forgot all about the impact of the recall the other night, when we went out to eat with some family members who had just arrived from out of town. We went to a restaurant that features eggs and pancakes--and only learned, when we started to order, that the only "eggs" the restaurant could serve that day were the egg substitute products!
Has the recall impacted you, where you are? Has it dropped some of your favorite Friday egg dishes off of the menu temporarily? Or are you one of those lucky people who gets eggs from your own backyard chickens, like this family?