nos-trum. pronunciation: \nos'-trum\. noun. Etymology: Latin, neuter of noster our, ours.
1. a medicine of secret composition recommended by its preparer but usually without scientific proof of its effectiveness.
2. a usually questionable remedy or scheme.
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Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Great Egg Recall: Media Says It's Blaming The Victim To Recommend Fully Cooked Food

 
We're not talking about rape here.  The media is over-the-top to label caution from the industry about cooking eggs as "blaming the victim."

Yes, you should be able to prepare your Eggs Benedict, or eggs "over easy,"  and be safe...but it should be remembered that, in general, it's safest to ALWAYS fully cook or thoroughly wash foods.  This is just common sense.

If you want to read the media hype (and contribute to their sensationalized view that sells newspapers), you can go here (USA Today, Aug 29).  It appears the egg producers need to look at ALL of their procedures and have quality control systems in place that work.  The FDA will take action.  But,...

Remember the outbreak of contaminated tomatoes some time back?  The producers were at fault for poor processes that allowed contamination to enter the processing of the tomatoes.  But, if people had still washed their tomatoes at home nobody would have gotten sick.  Despite current regulatory requirements for food safety (which could be improved) you should always wash the produce before chopping it up for your salad.

And you can always eat steak tartare, which is ground up raw steak, but you accept some risk in doing so.  I don't recommend it.  Same thing with sushi.

The egg producers need to clean up their act, and inspectors need to ensure they do so.   But don't become complacent if you want to avoid everybody getting sick at your annual Thanksgiving dinner.

And if you like your eggs "over easy," understand that the yolk is not cooked...and you're betting that somebody else is going to keep you healthy.

The larger problem is the decline of small farms and the rise of huge food conglomerates.  In the past, an outbreak of foodborne illness would have been limited to the small area supplied by your Mom-and-Pop egg farm.  Nowadays, vast amounts of food that supply whole regions of the country are processed through single-point preparers and distributors.  This magnifiies the exposure when something goes wrong.

Small is beautiful, sometimes.

Doc D
 

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