Salmonella, the leading cause of food poisoning-related death, can survive most common egg cooking methods—including scrambled, over-easy, and sunny side up. Cross-contamination onto fingers, utensils, or kitchen surfaces may pose an additional threat.
Egg-borne Salmonella is a relatively new disease. Our grandparents could drink eggnog, and eat raw cookie dough, with wild abandon—without fear of joining the more than a thousand Americans who die every year from Salmonella poisoning. Before the industrial intensification of egg production, Salmonella Enteritidis was not even found in eggs in the United States. By the beginning of the 21st century, however, Salmonella Enteritidis-contaminated eggs were sickening an estimated 182,000 Americans annually. Factory farming practices, such as forced starvation molting, feeding live hens “spent hen meal,” and overcrowding hens into barren “battery” cages so small they can’t even spread their wings, have contributed to the epidemic of egg-borne Salmonella poisoning.
In fact, just today, a story broke on Good Morning America about Sparboe Farms—our country’s fifth largest egg producer and supplier (until today) for McDonald’s Egg McMuffins. An undercover investigation found what the FDA noted were serious violations of federal Salmonella regulations. See my other Factory Farming Practices videos for more on the subject.
For more context, check out my associated blog posts: Eggs, Cigarettes, and Atherosclerosis, and Why Is Selling Salmonella-Tainted Chicken Legal?
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