"Public health officials closed the books this month on an outbreak of salmonella illness that had sickened more than 1,900 people since May and led to the largest recall of eggs in U.S. history.
Two Iowa egg farms drew most of the blame, triggering a congressional investigation, a federal criminal probe and several lawsuits filed by victims.
What has not drawn much scrutiny is the role of the federal government, which recognized 20 years ago that salmonella in eggs posed a public health threat. Although federal inspectors have closely monitored meat and poultry production for the better part of a century, they have largely ignored eggs, another staple of the American diet. It was not until July, well after the recent outbreak was underway, that the government's first rules on safe egg production took effect..."