Hundreds of people have gotten sick after millions of eggs contaminated with salmonella reached consumers. The outbreak is linked to eggs sold in at least four states. Initially, the egg producer, Wright County Egg of Galt, Iowa, recalled about 228 million eggs in early August. Now that recall has expanded to include 380 million eggs. The company is working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and various state health departments to investigate illnesses.
According to a report by the Associated Press, states reporting illnesses with possible links to the contaminated eggs include Minnesota, California, Colorado, and North Carolina. Eggs from Wright County Egg were packaged under a wide variety of brand names including Lucerne, Albertson, Mountain Dairy, Ralph’s, Boomsma’s, Sunshine, Hillandale, Trafficanda, Farm Fresh, Shorland, Dutch Farms and Kemp. Eggs affected by the expanded recall were distributed to food wholesalers, distribution centers and foodservice companies in California, Arizona, Missouri, Minnesota, Texas, Georgia, Washington, Oregon, Colorado, Nevada, Iowa, Illinois, Utah, Nebraska, Arkansas, Wisconsin and Oklahoma. These companies distribute nationwide.
Eggs included in the original recall are packed in varying sizes of cartons (six-egg cartons, dozen egg cartons, 18-egg cartons, and loose eggs for institutional use and repackaging) with Julian dates ranging from 136 to 225 and plant numbers 1026, 1413 and 1946. Eggs falling under the expanded recall are packed in varying sizes of cartons (six-egg cartons, dozen egg cartons, 18-egg cartons, and loose eggs for institutional use and repackaging) with Julian dates ranging from 136 to 229 and plant numbers 1720 and 1942.
As we have previously written, salmonella is an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Healthy persons infected with Salmonella often experience fever, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. In rare circumstances, infection with Salmonella can result in the organism getting into the bloodstream and producing more severe illnesses such as arterial infections, endocarditis or arthritis. As you can see, this is a most serious matter.
Consumers who believe they may have purchased these shell eggs should not eat them but should return them to the store where they were purchased for a full refund. This recall is of shell eggs only. Other egg products produced by Wright County Eggs are not affected. Consumers with questions should visit www.eggsafety.org or call Wright County’s toll-free information number (866-272-5582), which contains a message outlining recall instructions for consumers.
Sources: Associated Press, New York Times, and CNN
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