If you're thinking of giving up eggs because of the salmonella outbreak that has caused a massive recall, give it some more thought. You don't need to; especially if you purchase eggs that come from Pennsylvania farms.

Most local food markets sell eggs from Pennsylvania farmers. These eggs are safe, assures Pa. Agricultual Secretary Russell C. Redding.

The source of the salmonella outbreak is a large farm in Iowa. Apparently not all safety precautions were taken, resulting in the outbreak.

Redding assures that in Pennsylvania, many safeguards are in place to assure that such a salmonella outbreak doesn't occur.

This doesn't mean you should discard common sense. The main safety rule is to make sure your eggs are thoroughly cooked before eating them.

When shopping for eggs, check the labels. Usually the carton tells where the eggs originate. If it's a Pennsylvania source for the eggs, you can purchase them with pretty much confidence.

There are also dates on the cartons to assure the freshness of the eggs.

A lot of chains such as Boyer's and Rednars sell eggs from area farms. So do many of the local markets. You can even visit many area farms and buy eggs on the premises.

Buying such eggs not only virtually assures that they are safe, but helps local farmers economically.

And while on the topic of local farms, remember to shop the farm markets while produce is fresh. There's nothing tastier than locally grown corn, string beans, cantaloupe, and other such produce.

It's much healthier, too, than canned produce which often has salt and preservatives.

One last thought on the eggs: Hopefully large penalties will be imposed on the farm where the safety infractions occurred which led to the salmonella outbreak. The shortcuts taken on that farm have hurt farmers all over the country. Consumers must be assured that regulators are looking out for them as well as possible.

Don't let the problems from the farm in Iowa ruin your summer. Don't let it change your eating habits.

Eggs and produce are important in our diets. Don't stop eating because of one bad apple in the farming industry.

By Ron Gower

rgower@tnonline.com [1]