Egg recall proves to be needless worry for Coppell

By Ashley Attanucci
Web Manager
Video by Matt French

In astonishment, families, restaurants and groceries across the nation pulled egg cartons out of their fridges on Aug. 17.

Three hundred and eighty million eggs from over 40 different egg brands, ranging from Lucrene to Albertson’s, were recalled as traces of Salmonella Enteritidis were found present in those eggs from Iowa farms, eggs that sickened numerous breakfasters and cookie-dough fanatics.

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Photo by Viviana Trevino.

Though more than 2,500 Americans reported having been poisoned by the plagued eggs since May 1, Coppellians seemed not to be affected. Though local restaurants like Local Diner and Healthy Me Café admit to being questioned by frightened customers during the recall, Coppell businesses didn’t seem to be strongly affected.

“We had lots of people asking [since] we serve hot breakfast all day,” Holly Wyatt of Healthy Me Café said. “[But the recall] did not affect us because we largely try to use organic eggs.”

Naturally, many Coppell families turned toward the Coppell Farmer’s Market to buy locally produced eggs.

“Since the recall, demand [of eggs] has increased drastically,” Robert Hutchins, owner of Rehoboth Ranch, said. “Predictably, the demand for our eggs increased quite a bit. [At many points] we were sold out of eggs, but we have doubled our flock to relieve a bit of pressure.”

Hutchins, who sells at the Coppell Farmer’s market and three others, and many other local producers have felt the weight of the increased demand for locally produced products. Hutchins advises that the best solution to government and voluntary recalls is simply to find a good source of farm-raised eggs in order to avoid buying from mass-production facilities that sport unclean living conditions.

“Salmonella is a common pathogen that is directly related to dirty living conditions,” Hutchins said. “The laying hens raised in cages and confinement live in filthy conditions, so the eggs become contaminated.”

Salmonella bacterium that infects humans can be found in many other places other than just from eggs and uncooked fowl the kitchen, like in stagnant water or on reptiles like snakes and turtles. Shell eggs usually become contaminated by the infected hens that lay them or from being exposed to chicken feces and excrement, allowing the bacterium to easily thrive and pose danger to consumers.

“Remember that Rocky movie where he’s chugging down the raw eggs? Don’t try that at home,” CHS nurse Beth Dorn said.

But salmonella is a serious threat, especially to the elderly and infants, and has been recorded to kill an average of 30 Americans annually.

“[Salmonella] applies to every body. If you eat raw eggs with salmonella, you’re going to get really sick,” Dorn said. “It causes diarrhea, nausea, vomiting [and] cramps. Dehydration is the main concern and can be deadly. Some people like to eat their eggs sunny side up without cooking the other side, but it’ not really safe.”

Symptoms from salmonella poisoning begin within eight to 72 hours after ingestion, and for a healthy person, the sickness can be resolved in a matter of a few days to a week.

“The irony is, the industry’s solution is not to clean up living conditions [of the big producers], but require eggs to be pasteurized, which will kill a lot of the nutritional value of the egg,” Hutchins said.

Though eggs’ prevalence often goes unnoticed, many dishes cannot be concocted without the use of an egg. Mayonnaise, cakes, French toast, Hollandaise sauce and some milkshakes all contain traces of egg, be it cooked or (in many cases) raw.

The foods served at CISD cafeterias should not be a worry, however, as Director of Child Nutrition Jean Mosley assures.

“[The recall] did not affect the schools. Yes, parents did call, but we don’t use raw eggs or raw meat for food safety [purposes].”

Further, the CISD is always notified by the government in the case of any type of recall, and has thusly never encountered a problem, beyond the calls of concerned parents, with recalled items.

“Our French toast is pasteurized and already cooked, and hard-boiled eggs [we serve at school lunches] come in a vacuum-sealed package,” Mosley said.

Though news of the recall is dying down, its effects on Coppell citizens are ever-lasting as they have become loyal and conscientious consumers at the farmer’s market.