Uncracked Grade A-Eggs and Salmonella, Tomato Taste Tips and Destroyed Wetlands

This short series of reports includes news on uncracked grade A-eggs and salmonella, tomato taste tips and the nation's destroyed wetlands.

| September/October 1988

News briefs on uncracked grade A-eggs and salmonella, tomato taste tips and our destroyed wetlands. 

Uncracked Grade A-Eggs and Salmonella, Tomato Taste Tips and Destroyed Wetlands

No Yolks, Folks 

MOST OF US ARE CAREFUL NOT TO buy cracked or otherwise suspect eggs at the grocery store, but new evidence suggests that even perfectly intact, grade A-inspected eggs can cause food poisoning. Concerned by a six-fold increase in outbreaks of Salmonella enteritidis infections in the Northeast between 1976 and 1986, scientists for the Centers for Disease Control went looking for the culprit. From January 1985 to May 1987, there were 65 outbreaks of S. enteritidis in the Northeast involving some 2,119 cases. Of the 35 outbreaks for which a specific food source could be identified, 77070 were caused by uncracked grade A eggs or by products containing eggs. The researchers theorize that the contamination occurs within the hens' ovaries, before the eggs are laid—or perhaps externally deposited Salmonella bacteria work their way through the shell. In either case, washing and disinfectants are ineffective for eggs and salmonella. The scientists suggest that consumers in the Northeast and other affected areas of the country protect themselves by avoiding raw or nearly raw eggs in such foods as Caesar salad dressing and hollandaise sauce. Fans of sunny-side up, over-easy and one minute poached eggs should beware, too. Salmonella organisms will not be killed, say the researchers, unless eggs are boiled for at least seven minutes, poached for five, or fried on each side for three minutes.

Elders and Prescription Drugs  

People aged 60 and over make up 16.6% of the population but use nearly 40070 of all prescribed drugs, claims Public Citizen, a nonprofit consumer watchdog organization. Each year, says the group, 61,000 older adults contract drug-induced Parkinsonism, 32,000 suffer hip fractures attributable to drug-induced falls, 163,000 experience drug induced or -worsened memory loss or impaired thinking, and 243,000 have to be hospitalized because of adverse reactions to drugs. In an effort to provide the elderly with information on the dangers of prescription drug overuse and misuse, Public Citizen has published Worst Pills, Best Pills: The Older Adult's Guide to Avoiding Drug-Induced Death or Illness. The book, printed in large type, evaluates the 287 drugs most often prescribed for older patients, describes possible side effects and other concerns for each, and suggests safer alternatives to potentially harmful medications. The guide, along with a drug worksheet for consumers to complete with their doctors, is available for $12 postpaid from Public Citizen, Washington, DC.

Tomato Taste Tips  

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