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Egg recall: Does it rank with other major food recalls?

[Editor's note: For an updated list of brand names and plants involved in the egg recall as of Aug. 26, click here.]

Egg recall? It's just the latest in a number of high-profile food recalls in the United States in the past five years. The rate of major food-borne illnesses is down since the 1996-98 period, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported earlier this year. But with food production concentrated in large companies with regional or nationwide distribution, the US has seen several major food recalls. Among the biggest (click the right arrow for each new item):

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Eggs are pictured for sale at a Washington, D.C., supermarket on Aug. 23. The US. Food and Drug Administration commissioner on Monday said the egg recall may expand. But the current egg recall is only one of several major food recalls in the last five years.

Jason Reed/Reuters

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5. Egg recall – August 2010 (ongoing)

Two Iowa egg companies – Wright County Egg and Hillandale Farms – recalled some 500 million eggs after officials linked the facilities to a surge in salmonella cases. The recall involved distributors to the Lower 48 states, but to date there have been no fatalities linked to the eggs.FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg said Monday that new rules that went into effect last month giving the FDA authority to test eggs for salmonella "very likely" would have enabled the FDA to flag the problem before the outbreak.

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