How Much Should You Worry About Eggs and Salmonella?

The recent major recall of eggs for salmonella has a lot of people wondering about how much they should worry. It’s hard to believe that it took so long for the recall to get started when so many eggs are a potential source for salmonella poisoning.

I’m feeling pretty lucky in that at the moment we’re out of eggs. If any were contaminated, clearly I cooked them well enough that it wasn’t a problem. Lucky us.

That’s one point to remember. Even without a recall, eggs are sometimes contaminated with salmonella. Cook them well and it won’t be a problem for you. That said, I’ve had foods with raw egg plenty of times without trouble. Raw cookie dough, for example.

Of course, if you have any eggs that are effected by the recall, get rid of them or return them to the store. There’s no point in taking a chance with contaminated eggs.

Will Free Range Eggs Help?

I love free range eggs. My sister has chickens, so I get them from her occasionally. She doesn’t live close enough for this to be a regular thing, however.

While eggs from free range chickens are not a part of this recall, they can still become contaminated by salmonella. You can’t see the difference, so looking at the eggs won’t help.

On the other hand, really free range eggs (not just chickens set free for a short time then recaged) are a good thing in general. Better for the chickens and you get better eggs. There’s a lot to be said that’s positive for finding a source of free range eggs.

I would suggest that there are better sources for free range eggs than the grocery store, however. If you know someone who raises chickens, that’s a good source. A farm that you can visit and see how they treat their chickens is a good source.

The grocery shelf, not so much. Free range is too loosely defined.

When to Worry

The only thing you need to worry more than usual about is if you have eggs directly effected by this recall. Otherwise, temper your new reminder of the potential for salmonella poisoning from eggs with your lifelong experience. Odds are good it hasn’t been a problem for you before.