While investigators continue searching for the cause of a salmonella outbreak at two Iowa farms, hens at those two farms are still laying eggs. So what’s happening to the recalled eggs and the fresh ones?
Eggs from that massive salmonella outbreak could still end up on a store shelf near you.
“They’re gonna be mixed in with whatever, whether it’s a cake mix or cookies,” said senior scientist Michael Hansen of Consumers Union.
CBS News has learned that some of the recalled eggs are being sent to egg-processing facilities, along with fresh ones that infected hens are still producing. The eggs will be cooked, pasteurized and used in products like ice cream and mayonnaise. The FDA says it's legal and safety experts insist there's little risk to consumers.
“Once you’ve taken the action to kill the bacteria, then it’s fine to put it in these other products,” said Hanson. “So I wouldn’t worry about eating a pasteurized egg product that came from these recalled eggs.”
Federal investigators are still trying to pinpoint the exact source of the outbreak. According to the CDC, roughly 40 new cases of salmonella were reported in the last week. That’s on top of the 1,300 people who’ve already gotten sick.
“This recall is only going to continue to expand, and it really shows why we need to have this food safety bill passed,” said Hansen.
Experts agree the next step lies with Congress, but legislation aimed at regulating the food industry is now tied up in the Senate despite bipartisan support.
Along with imposing stricter rules, the bill – for the first time – would give the FDA recall authority so the government wouldn't have to wait for companies to act. It would be the first major overhaul of the nation's food safety laws in more than 70 years.