As the egg recall beats on, some depressing news ... and more depressing news. The FDA chief has issued a tip for consumers, and fans of over-easy eggs won't be happy: avoid "runny egg yolks for mopping up with toast." And though the FDA said yesterday that it looks like the salmonella outbreak is indeed limited to two farms, there's still little reason to celebrate. The Washington Post looks at the changing egg industry, which has seen so much consolidation that an issue with just one or two farms can ravage the marketplace.
Today, 192 major egg companies lay claim to 95% of America's laying hens; in 1987, that number was 2,500. "I don't think people have any idea when they see all these brand names in the stores that so many are coming from the same place," says the assistant director of a food safety organization. To wit, the two Iowa producers behind the recall sell their eggs under 24 brand names. And the FDA may not be the great protector we'd like it to be, notes the LAT: In a pre-recall survey of FDA scientists, only half expressed full confidence in the FDA's ability to protect egg-eating Americans from food-borne illness in ... eggs.