Eggs are boiled and sterile, but contamination must have occurred after they were peeled or while they were sitting in buckets of salt water.
A company called Michael Foods has recalled more than one million hard-boiled eggs because of possible contamination with Listeria monocytogenes. These especially nasty bacteria grow happily at refrigerator temperatures.
Michael Foods packaged the eggs in buckets of brine at a facility in Wakefield, Nebraska. Investigators suspect a room in the packaging plant as the most likely source of contamination. Listeria do tend to lurk in wet crevices of packing plants.
The company's recall notice says:
None of the eggs were sold directly by Michael Foods to retailers or consumers. However, food distributors and manufacturers who purchased the eggs could have used them in products that were sold to retail outlets or used in food service settings.
Think: commercially prepared egg salad sandwiches and potato salads.
If you can't quite get how a million hard-cooked eggs could be exposed to Listeria, you have plenty of company, myself included.
Hard-boiled eggs are boiled. They are sterile. What could have happened?
I went to the web to find out how eggs are processed for commercial use, and discovered the Sanovo Group. This company produces machines that wash and peel hard-boiled eggs.