The federal Food and Drug Administration has recommended changes aimed at making a big reduction in the number of salmonella infections caused by eggs. Iowa’s become the nation’s number-one egg producer, but Hilary Thesmar, director of the Egg Safety Center in Washington, says we’re really in no danger. She says in the late 1980s we learned that salmonella could be found inside eggs even if they hadn’t been opened or even cracked. It was only one in 20-thousand, but nationally that’s still a lot of eggs. The FDA’s proposing some controls on the farm, that could help prevent salmonella bacteria from getting into the egg in the first place. The proposed rule would make it mandatory for producers to monitor their production farms, and if salmonella’s found on the found the eggs will be tested and not sent to grocery stores. Thesmar says the FDA’s proposing the rule and will have a comment period to hear from producers and the public, then likely do as it has with other rules and phase in the procedures gradually once they’re going to be required. Thesman says the larger producers are probably doing most of the suggested procedures already. Iowa has more than 80 egg producers, whose 40-Million laying hens produce about 9 and-a-half-Billion eggs a year.
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