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Chicken owners can have eggs tested for free

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Bay Area residents who raise chickens outdoors can take their eggs to a University of California office in Santa Rosa to see if they contain contaminants, UC officials said.

The free egg testing by the UC Cooperative Extension is to determine if harmful substances eaten by chickens get passed along in the eggs they lay.

The eggs can be dropped off at the UC Cooperative Extension office in Suite 109 at 133 Aviation Blvd. in Santa Rosa on Mondays through Fridays from 8 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Eggs can also be sent by mail, with instructions available at http://ucanr.edu/eggtest.

The eggs will be tested for chemicals, building materials and heavy metals that may be related to the October wildfires in the North Bay, as well as for lead and other contaminants found elsewhere in the state.

Maurice Pitesky, a poultry and food safety specialist at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, said in a statement:

“We’re trying to understand the connection between the environment that backyard poultry are raised in and the eggs they are producing.”

Each chicken owner will receive their individual egg results, and the study will end with the overall results summarized and made available to the public, UC officials said.

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