One of the nation’s largest egg producers is recalling 380 million eggs after being linked to an outbreak of salmonella poisoning.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said eggs from Wright County Egg in Galt, Iowa, were linked to several illnesses in Colorado, California and Minnesota. The CDC said about 200 cases of the strain of salmonella linked to the eggs were reported weekly during June and July, four times the normal number of such occurrences.
The nationwide recall involves eggs packaged from May 16 through Aug. 13.
Eggs affected by this recall were distributed to food wholesalers, distribution centers and foodservice companies in California, Illinois, Missouri, Colorado, Nebraska, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa. These companies distribute nationwide.
Eggs are packaged under the following brand names: Lucerne, Albertson, Mountain Dairy, Ralph’s, Boomsma’s, Sunshine, Hillandale, Trafficanda, Farm Fresh, Shoreland, Lund, Dutch Farms, James Farms, Glenview, Pacific Coast and Kemps. The eggs were packed in varying sizes of cartons (6-egg cartons, dozen egg cartons, 18-egg cartons).
LOOK FOR ONE OF THESE THREE PLANT NUMBERS: P-1026, P-1413, AND P-1946 FOR THE EGG RECALL
The plant number is on the end of the egg carton. If it’s stamped with one of those numbers, check the numbers after it.
If they are between 136 to 225, take the eggs back to the store.
The Food and Drug Administration is investigating the egg company.
What can I do to reduce my risk of getting Salmonella Enteritidis from eggs?
Eggs, like meat, poultry, milk, and other foods, are safe when handled properly. Shell eggs are safest when stored in the refrigerator, individually and thoroughly cooked, and promptly consumed. The larger the number of Salmonella present in the egg, the more likely it is to cause illness. Keeping eggs adequately refrigerated prevents any Salmonella present in the eggs from growing to higher numbers, so eggs should be kept refrigerated until they are used.
Cooking reduces the number of bacteria present in an egg; however, an egg with a runny yolk still poses a greater risk than a completely cooked egg. Undercooked egg whites and yolks have been associated with outbreaks of Salmonella Enteritidis infections. Both should be consumed promptly and not be kept warm or at room temperature for more than 2 hours.
What are the specific actions I can take to reduce my risk of a Salmonella Enteritidis infection?
* Keep eggs refrigerated at ? 45° F (?7° C) at all times.
* Discard cracked or dirty eggs.
* Wash hands, cooking utensils, and food preparation surfaces with soap and water after contact with raw eggs.
* Eggs should be cooked until both the white and the yolk are firm and eaten promptly after cooking.
* Do not keep eggs warm or at room temperature for more than 2 hours.
* Refrigerate unused or leftover egg-containing foods promptly.
* Avoid eating raw eggs.
* Avoid restaurant dishes made with raw or undercooked, unpasteurized eggs. Restaurants should use pasteurized eggs in any recipe (such as Hollandaise sauce or Caesar salad dressing) that calls for raw eggs.
* Consumption of raw or undercooked eggs should be avoided, especially by young children, elderly persons, and persons with weakened immune systems or debilitating illness.
Who is most at risk for getting Salmonella Enteritidis?
The elderly, infants, and those with impaired immune systems may have a more severe illness. In these patients, the infection may spread from the intestines to the blood stream, and then to other body sites and can cause death unless the person is treated promptly with antibiotics.
How do I know if I have Salmonella Enteritidis?
A person infected with the Salmonella Enteritidis bacterium usually has fever, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea beginning 12 to 72 hours after consuming a contaminated food or beverage. The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days, and most persons recover without antibiotic treatment. However, the diarrhea can be severe, and the person may be ill enough to require hospitalization.