"The incredible, edible egg - or at least those coming from two rodent-infested Iowa egg farms - caused 1,937 traceable illnesses from Salmonella enteritidis last year, which means the contaminated eggs probably sickened nearly 60,000 people nationwide.
Thankfully, there's no evidence anyone died from the outbreak - unlike other recent outbreaks linked to peanuts and packaged celery, blamed in at least 14 deaths.
The 2009 recall of products linked to a Georgia plant owned by Peanut Corporation of America epitomized the problem, by doing enormous downstream damage to the nation's food producers, according to Erik Olson of the Pew Health Group.
Olson, who joined Pew in early 2009 and established a new coalition, Make Our Food Safe, says that lone plant supplied peanuts used in more than 3,000 products that eventually had to be recalled.
"It ended up that one factory could contaminate an enormous number of different foods," Olson says. One producer, Kellogg, told Congress that the peanut recall cost it more than $60 million. An economic analysis that Pew funded put the total annual health-related cost of foodborne illness at $152 billion ... "