“The nation has been walking on a thin edge as more and more eggs have become mass-produced,” says TIME medical columnist Christine Gorman. On the one hand, mass production has enabled the industry to install more systematic health controls; on the other hand, mass production has also increased the risk that one bad egg could contaminate large batches of other eggs. The administration said its new measures could prevent up to 66,000 illnesses and 40 deaths per year. If followed to the letter, the new safety instructions would also ruin the Sunday brunches of millions of Americans: no more mousse or eggs Benedict. But you know what they say about making an omelet.
The U.S. government has hatched a plan so that you can eat a safer egg. On the heels of a GAO report criticizing federal agencies for being too lax in protecting Americans from eating salmonella-contaminated eggs, the Clinton administration announced a three-pronged effort on Thursday: A proposed safety label on egg cartons urging consumers to “keep eggs refrigerated; cook eggs until yolks are firm; and cook foods containing eggs thoroughly;” a federal requirement that all eggs and egg products destined for consumers be refrigerated at 45 degrees or below; and the formulation of a strategic plan to further improve egg safety.