Nationwide egg recall now at half a billion eggs

FRESNO, Calif.

FDA officials are looking into the possibility that tainted chickens or feed may have poisoned eggs at both companies.

"We're taking extensive samples in the hen houses where the eggs were laid," FDA Deputy Commissioner For Foods Michael Taylor said.

But word Saturday night that state health officials identified one of the farms back in late May, the other in June and confirmed the findings in July. But the FDA didn't visit the farms until early August.

We are also learning more about connections between the two. Hillandale, which just recalled 170 million eggs apparently shares a feed supplier and bought young hens from the owner of the other farm involved in the recall, Wright County Egg.

Feed and chickens carrying the bacteria are two ways the salmonella can spread.

"It often takes FDA days or weeks to trace a food contamination back to its source," Former FDA Commissioner William Hubbard said.

Health officials say there is a sure way to avoid salmonella poisoning. Cook eggs thoroughly. Health experts recommend eating hard boiled eggs for now. Intensive heat will kill most bacteria.

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