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WYO Joins Egg Recall List

August 30, 2010

CHEYENNE, Wyo. - Wyoming has now joined the list of states hit by the egg recall because of risks of a salmonella infection, with an announcement over the weekend. Initial investigation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has traced contaminated eggs to just a few large-scale operations in Iowa, although recalled eggs distributed in Wyoming came from Minnesota.

Patty Lovera, assistant director of the group Food and Water Watch, says the scope of the recall makes it the largest in history, and she's concerned that consolidated, crowded chicken-warehouse-type egg production led to the unhealthy conditions that allowed salmonella to thrive.

"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."

A Congressional committee has requested inspection records and other internal documents from the two Iowa 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 they noted their safety record up until the current recall.

Since the recall, Lovera says, they've heard farmers' markets are reporting an increase in demand for locally-raised eggs. 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 in Wyoming under the brand names Albertsons, Sparboe Farms, Liborio Market, Shamrock Foods and Glenview Farms.

A full list of brands and carton codes affected by the recall is at foodsafety.gov

Deb Courson, Public News Service - WY