I always say that chickens are actually some of my favorite animals. Why? Because they can produce food without becoming food themselves! Now this all seems like very corny, but the fact remains that eggs are one of the only turf-borne sources of meat which are very controlled by the FDA to not be treated with antibiotics. The risk of consuming salmonella is one that is taken by those which consume eggs in their raw state. However, there are now very strict rules from the FDA which should be celebrated by all of us! Not only are conditions which inhibit the growth of bacteria constantly monitored now but growers are also required to report any sort of Salmonella which is found in their farms, in their chickens, or in their eggs. Products which have this bacteria are to be immediately removed from production! However, not all eggs are created equal. Some chickens may still be fed food which contains antibiotics.
So how do you make sure that the eggs which you are eating are being protected from not only salmonella but all other sorts of contamination? Here are the categories:
Cage free: Any eggs which are labelled as cage free usually are not raised in cages, but are on the floor such as in a barn. They are bedding materials, are allowed perches and nests, but may still also be close enough to other hens to support the transfer of bacteria.
Free Range: These hens are allowed to go from a general shelter as in the previous model, to the outside if they are so inclined. They must also have all the amenities of cage free hens. These may be much less susceptible to disease.
Organic: These hens, although they may not be able to roam free, are not given any food which is not certified organic, and not treated at any time with ANY antibiotics!
Quick Tip: Go Organic, my friends!
Source: Webmd, http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/egg-types-benefits-facts