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More Recalled Eggs in CA, Industrial Farming a Threat?

August 24, 2010

LOS ANGELES - A southern California company is voluntarily recalling 300,000 hens' eggs that could be linked to a outbreak of salmonella contamination affecting over a half-billion eggs nationwide. The Moark egg company is the third Inland Empire distributor caught up in the recall traced back to a few very large egg producers in Iowa.

Patty Lovera, assistant director of Food and Water Watch, says it's clear from the scope of the recall that some of the companies producing our food have become too big.

"Two companies are producing half a billion eggs in just a couple months; we used to have more competition and more diversity and more players in the marketplace, and it's time to take a look at that."

On Monday, a Congressional committee requested inspection records and other internal documents from the two companies at the center of the recalls. The egg producers released statements saying they were devastated that people were being sickened by their eggs, and defending their safety record up until the current recall.

Since the recall, farmers' markets have begun to report a big increase in demand for eggs that are locally-raised or come from smaller operations. Lovera says that while there are never any guarantees about food safety, she thinks going local is a good choice.

"You can ask somebody who knows how those chickens were raised, you know, what practices they used, and you're a lot closer to the source and you can just get more information and make decisions for yourself."

Potentially-tainted eggs were sold under the Albertsons, Yucaipa Valley, Farmer's Gems and Mountain Dairy brand names.

Eggs with the plant number P-1156 stamped on the carton and dated July 6 are part of the recall and the purchase price will be refunded to those who bought such eggs.

Eric Mack, Public News Service - CA