This isn't the first time that eggs have been recalled due to health concerns. A report by the Center for Science in the Public Interest analyzed outbreaks of foodborne illness from 1990 to 2006 and revealed that some of the most popular and healthiest foods regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration are also among the most unsafe--including, yes, eggs. iVillage health editor-at-large Madelyn Fernstrom, Ph.D., weighs in with tips for buying, storing and preparing eggs and other foods on the list safely.
Outbreaks from 1990 to 2006: 352
Salmonella bacteria, harbored in the intestinal tracts of animals and birds, is the biggest culprit of egg contamination. That's the case this summer: As of late August, more than 1,300 cases of salmonella poisoning have been identified in several states, leading to the recall of roughly a half-billion eggs from two Iowa egg distributors. The biggest food recall "in recent memory," according to FDA commissioner Margaret Hamburg, affects eggs sold in at least 22 states under as many as 24 different brands.
Madelyn’s safety tip: “Don’t buy eggs if they’re not in the refrigerated section of your grocery store. Upon purchase, keep your eggs refrigerated and pay attention to the 'sell by' date, discarding a week after. Cook thoroughly and avoid using raw eggs in home recipes. If you’re at a restaurant, ask if raw eggs are used in any prepared dishes.” And if you're buying eggs during a recall, be sure to check where they come from to ensure the producer isn't involved in the recall.