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WDAY: The News Leader

Published August 19, 2010, 08:52 AM

Egg shortage boosts production at a Lake Park egg company

The recall is a boost to one company in our area. Mendelson Egg Company in Lake Park is not involved in the recall and new orders are flying in. The boost may be short lived.

Lake Park, Minn. (WDAY TV) - Nearly 400 million eggs have been recalled across the nation, tainted with salmonella. There is no evidence any contaminated eggs were sold in our area, but health officials are still giving advice on how to stay healthy.

They say to use common sense, wash your hands, your utensils and food before preparing it. Eggs should also be refrigerated as soon as possible, and cracked eggs should be thrown away.

“If they're not part of the recall, they should feel free to use these eggs, but use that common sense, do the right things, cook them properly, and handle them properly.”

If eggs are refrigerated, they can stay fresh for up to 60 days.

The recall is a boost to one company in our area. Mendelson Egg Company in Lake Park is not involved in the recall and new orders are flying in. The boost may be short lived.

Mendelson Egg Company is a well oiled machine, cranking out 300 thousand eggs every day. The family business has been going strong for 45 years and with this latest recall, orders are picking up.

“There are a lot of people looking for eggs. The price has gone up, but I suspect it'll only be a short term price rise.”

Eggs are sitting at about $1.15 today. They were in the low 90s last week. It takes eggs about three minutes to make their way down the conveyer belt, through the wash and sorted into their individual cartons.

They're packed up, and carted off to the refrigeration room, stored overnight and sent to Hornbacher's the next day. When taking on extra orders, it means kicking up the production line and a short-term gain for the company.

“There's a big demand to replace those eggs in the marketplace. It'll take probably six to eight weeks to sort it all out. Until we get a supply chain lined up.”

Once eggs get to the store and on the shelves, one of Baer's concerns is getting eggs inside people's carts.

“Actually I'm going to make potato salad with them and I'm going to make sure they're cooked. I'm going to be cautious; I think we all need to be.”

“Potentially long term, our concern is that it'll drive consumers away from eating eggs, and it's not really necessary.”

Other recalls have come and gone, and Baer hopes this one will be no different. Birds involved in the recall will have to be tested and will be out of commission for about eight weeks.

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