Editor's note: Michele Jay-Russell is a food safety and security specialist, and Michael Payne is the Outreach Program Coordinator, both at the Western Institute for Food Safety and Security (WIFSS), a program of the School of Veterinary Medicine at University of California at Davis.
With more than half a billion eggs recalled and at least 1,300 salmonellosis illnesses linked to eggs in an ongoing investigation this summer, consumers are worried and wondering, "What went wrong, and what can I do to protect myself and my family?"
We study food safety for a living, so our own family members have been quizzing us about which eggs are safest to buy.
Our immediate response to them, and everyone else who has called us at the university for advice, is to recommend they check the recall list and discard implicated eggs or return them to the store for a refund.
But, beyond the recall, they also wanted to discuss the broader issue of food safety differences between eggs sold conventionally versus free-range or cage-free eggs. For example, they wanted to know is it really true, as some food activists suggest, that eggs from cage-free chickens are safer
The answer? Not necessarily.
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