Monthly Archives: September 2010

Have we got a VIDEO??

OK that’s one of the few Young Ones references I can remember…

So I decided to make this entry a video blog… a VLOG! Welcome me to the 21st century!

**IN MEMORY OF PIPPIN** 

 WE MISS YOU PRINCESS

MAY 2004 – SEPTEMBER 16, 2010

What EGG-zactly is going on??

There’s been a lot of hoopla over eggs these last few weeks. There is a ginormous recall due to a major salmonella contamination which is nothing to sneeze at.

Source: http://www.salmonellablog.com/2005/05/

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),

Salmonellosis is an infection with bacteria called Salmonella. Most persons infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps 12 to 72 hours after infection. The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days, and most persons recover without treatment. However, in some persons, the diarrhea may be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized. In these patients, the Salmonella infection may spread from the intestines to the blood stream, and then to other body sites and can cause death unless the person is treated promptly with antibiotics. The elderly, infants, and those with impaired immune systems are more likely to have a severe illness (1).

Salmonella contamination in eggs is fairly common with about 40,000 cases annually (2). So what is it about this outbreak that makes it noteworthy. The fact that there are half billion eggs implicated and they come from just a handful of factory farms in Iowa (3). The notion that eggs come from farms all over the country is a misnomer. Like the beef and pork industry it’s the large few that control the market.

Source: http://www.treehugger.com/files/2009/01/battery-eggs-sold-supermarket.php

The main theory for the widespread cases of salmonella is keeping chickens in battery cages.It’s compelling because according to a Pew study conducted in 2008:

Animals in such close confinement, along with some of the feed and animal management methods employed in the system, increase pathogen risks and magnify opportunities for transmission from animals to humans. This increased risk is due to at least three factors: prolonged worker contact with animals, increased pathogen transmission within a herd or flock, and the increased opportunities for the generation of antimicrobial resistant bacteria (due to imprudent antimicrobial use) or new strains of viruses (4).

In the 1990s the European Union banned battery cages, with complete compliance due by 2012 (5). Thus with the reduction of batter cages there has been a reduction in pathogens (6). What does this mean for us here in the US? Nothing, unless steps are taken to improve the conditions of the chickens. 

Source: http://www.chickenout.ca/alternatives.html

Even if you don’t care about animal welfare you should care about human safety. It’s obvious that the food producers won’t police themselves it’s up to the consumer to demand a safe product – remember money talks. While it’s unrealistic to expect people to stop eating eggs, it is realistic to demand a product that is not a bio-hazard for you and your family. The cheap cost of food in this country is not so cheap when you factor in the costs associated with pollution, resource depletion and human health. 

References:

  1. CDC website: http://www.cdc.gov/nczved/divisions/dfbmd/diseases/salmonellosis/, 2009
  2. CDC website: http://www.cdc.gov/nczved/divisions/dfbmd/diseases/salmonellosis/, 2009
  3. FDA website: http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/MajorProductRecalls/ucm223522.htm, 2010
  4. Pew Charitable Commission, Pew Commission Says Industrial Scale Farm Animal Production Poses “Unacceptable” Risks to Public Health, Environment http://www.pewtrusts.org/news_room_detail.aspx?id=38438, 2008
  5. EU bans battery cages Richard Hardy. The Animals’ Agenda. Westport: Sep/Oct 1999. Vol. 19, Iss. 5; pg. 8, 1 pgs.

Health in Swiss layers after a ban on battery cages.Veterinary Record: Journal of the British Veterinary Association; 2/14/2009, Vol. 164 Issue 7, p198-198, 1/5