August 30, 2010
That’s the claim from United Egg Producers, which is a cooperative of egg producers from across the nation. Mitch Head said “consumers that were sickened reportedly all ate eggs that were not properly or thoroughly cooked. Eggs need to be cooked so that the whites and yolks are firm (not runny), which should kill any bacteria”. (He’s responding to the latest outbreak of egg salmonella.) In other words, the way humans have been eating eggs throughout recorded history (without getting sick or dying) is wrong. Of course, they weren’t eating eggs from todays producers either.
This is their defense. As USAToday put it, “the egg industry is resorting to the worst tactic of all: blaming the victim”. Krista Eberle, another spokesperson, said “all the responsibility cannot be placed on the farmer. Somewhere along the line, consumers have to be responsible for what they put in their bodies”.
Eberle is right, but only up to a point. Somewhere along the line, they must take responsibility. When food producers tell us their food is safe to eat, it’s supposed to be safe to eat! If not, then they need to say so on the package: “WARNING: Eggs may contain salmonella which could kill you. You have two options: cook at 400 degrees F for one hour before eating, or — throw them away”. Ridicules, of course, but no more than their claim.
As Nancy Donley with a food-safety consumer group said, “The problem isn’t how consumers are preparing the food. The problem is that the food is contaminated”. No S—! If egg producers are successful in hanging their hat on that excuse, what do you suppose is next? “It’s your responsibility to remove all rat droppings, dead roaches, body parts and any other contaminates from our food before consumption”.
Never underestimate the difficulty of changing false beliefs [with] facts.
Economist Henry Rosovsky