Two farms in Iowa have recalled over 380 million eggs due to possible contamination with Salmonella enteridis. Salmonella bacteria can cause fever, abdominal cramps and diarrhea. Symptoms tend to last four to seven days.
In an outbreak thought to have begun in May, salmonella-contaminated eggs are reported to have sickened over 300 people in California, Colorado and Minnesota. Over 250 of these cases were in California. Clusters of suspicious infections have also been reported in Arizona, Illinois, Nevada, North Carolina, Texas and Wisconsin.
The FDA is advising consumers to throw out recalled eggs or return them to the store for a refund and to see a doctor if you think you are ill from eating contaminated eggs.
The two farms are Wright County Egg and Hillandale Farms. The eggs were sold under the following brand names: Albertson, Boomsma's, Dutch Farms, Farm Fresh, Hillandale, Kemps, Lucerne, Lund, Mountain Dairy, Ralph's, Shoreland, Sunshine, and Trafficanda.
General egg handling advice is to:
- Cook eggs until both the white and yolk are firm and eat them promptly
- Keep raw eggs refrigerated at all times
- Throw out cracked or dirty eggs
- Wash hands, utensils and preparation surfaces with soap and water after contact with raw eggs
Refrigerating eggs slows down the growth of any bacteria that are present. Thorough cooking kills most bacteria.
The FDA also warned consumers not to eat raw eggs or restaurant dishes made with raw, undercooked or unpasteurized eggs. It is particularly important for young children, the elderly and those who are already ill or have weakened immune systems to avoid eating raw or undercooked eggs, because they are the people most susceptible to infection with salmonella.
At this stage of the outbreak, it's not known how widespread it is likely to be or how many people it is likely to affect.
On August 20, there was a further recall of eggs from Hillandale Farms.
These eggs were distributed under the following brand names: Hillandale Farms, Sunny Farms, and Sunny Meadow, in 6, 12 or 18-egg cartons, 30-egg packages, and 5-dozen egg cases. Some loose eggs were packaged under the following brand names: Wholesome Farms and West Creek, in 15 and 30-dozen tray packs. Loose eggs may also have been repackaged by some smaller customers of Hillandale Farms.
The only eggs affected by this recall have plant numbers P1860 or P1663 and dates as follows:
- P1860 – dates ranging from 099 to 230 (for example, P1860-112)
- P1663 – dates ranging from 137 to 230 (for example, P1663-195)
The FDA prominently displays updated outbreak and recall information as well as photos of actual recalled cartons at its website, www.fda.gov.