- The FDA may have traced what caused the salmonella outbreak in millions of eggs on two Iowa farms.
- Salmonella can get into an egg from the inside out or the outside in.
- Experts advise keeping eggs in the refrigerator and cooking them well to avoid getting sick.
On Friday the Food and Drug Administration announced they found salmonella in chicken feed that was used at two Iowa farms where tainted eggs have been traced.
An estimated 2,400 people have been sickened from the eggs and more than 550 million eggs have been recalled since early August.
Even if investigators have indeed found the salmonella source, you may wonder, how can the bacteria get inside the hard shell of an egg? Let us count the ways.
One route is through the insides of a chicken, said Kevin Keener, a food process engineer at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind. On average, he said, one out of every 20,000 chicken eggs contains a small amount of salmonella that is deposited into the sac by the hen.
Chickens get doses of salmonella bacteria (of which there are 2,300 kinds) from their environment, which is easily contaminated by rodents, birds and flies. These carriers deliver the bacteria to all types of farms -- regardless of whether they're conventional, organic or free-range.