Johnny Carson has egg on his face, N.J. governor says

TRENTON, N.J. -- New Jersey's soon-to-be-softened ban on serving runny eggs has inspired a welter of jokes, but a remark by late-night television talk show maestro Johnny Carson did not tickle Gov. Jim Florio's funny bone.

Since the first of the year, an ill-enforced Health Department regulation has prohibited the serving of raw or undercooked eggs to prevent potentially fatal salmonella poisoning.


The ban theoretically outlaws everything from fried eggs over easy to authentic Caesar salads.

'There's something wrong with a state in which you can buy an Uzi, but there's a 10-day waiting period to get a Caesar salad,' Carson quipped during Wednesday's Tonight Show.

In a letter released Thursday, Florio reminded the comedian that it's illegal to buy semi-automatic weapons in New Jersey. In fact, the governor wrote, the state has the toughest assault weapons ban in the nation.

'I don't want you to think that we in New Jersey can't take a yolk,' Florio said, testing his comedic mettle.

Florio, however, has treated the ban as anything but a laughing matter. On Tuesday, he called for its repeal as an example of over- zealous regulation.


The governor intends to celebrate the regulation's easing on Friday morning with a breakfast of fried eggs over easy at a local diner.

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