Israel is latest country to experience a salmonella scare

By Tim Nelson
Updated February 13, 2018
Brown eggs lined up on green packing equipment in Belgium
Credit: Photo by John Thys/AFP/Getty Images

It hasn’t been a great year when it comes to global egg safety. This summer saw recalls for fipronil-laced eggs all over Europe, and now it seems that at least one Israeli chicken farm has ended up with egg on its face.

Over the weekend, Israel’s Health Ministry issued a warning to consumers that somewhere between 40,000 and 80,000 eggs produced by Yesh Maof farm have been infected by salmonella enteritidis, a harmful bacteria strain known to cause infection in humans. Laboratory tests revealed the bad batch. As a precaution, Israeli consumers have been advised not to consume any eggs stamped with the number 98 that carry a November 7th expiration date, as well as number 67 eggs expiring on November 14th.

For what it’s worth, Yesh Maof says it’s done its part to clean up chicken coops in the wake of the salmonella diagnosis. They also claimed that that some of the stamps on the eggs may have been forged, which is something the Health Ministry will look into as they “continue testing and monitoring” the situation.

It could be worse, though. Just a month ago, the same Health Ministry initially feared that up to 11 million Yesh Maof eggs may be due for a recall, so it’s something of a relief that the number isn’t higher. Current figures suggest that under 3% of Israeli eggs have been infected by salmonella, which is lower than current rates in Europe and the US. Still, it’s another story suggesting that not all eggs are created equal.