Following the egg recall—which happened outside of New York, but right around the same time Brooklyn alfalfa sprouts and cheese was getting recalled—two New York State legislators have announced they want farmers to vaccinate their hens against salmonella.
State Senator Daniel Squadron and Assemblyman Brian Kavanagh made their statement known on Sunday, while standing in front of a Lower East Side supermarket, according to the AP. The recall they were responding to was huge—more than a half billion eggs—and Kavanagh told the crowd, "The massive outbreaks of food-borne illness in recent months leave no doubt that our food safety system is failing us, threatening everyone's well-being and sometimes costing people's lives."
Vaccinations would cost less than a penny per dozen eggs, and would affect 5 billion eggs sold in New York State each year; it could allegedly eliminate an average of 142,000 egg-related salmonella cases in the U.S. each year. While the FDA has instituted new safety rules for eggs over the past month, they do not require vaccination, and Squadron stated, "If the FDA is unwilling to take the lead, we should start here in New York."
If their bill gets approval from the state Senate and Assembly, and Governor Paterson signs it, it would take a few months before farmers would be required to vaccinate their hens.