The initial recall was issued last week.The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that hundreds of people have been sickened in a salmonella outbreak linked to eggs in four states and possibly more, health officials told the Sacramento Bee (online) yesterday, August 18, 2010 as a company dramatically expanded a recall to 380 million eggs, according to the article, Egg recall tied to salmonella grows to 380 million – Wire Health.
What’s happening in Sacramento with the egg recall? California has reported 266 illnesses since June and believes many are related to the eggs. If the eggs made you sick in June, those eggs would have expired by now. But what if the eggs went into foods of a wide variety that are frozen for months and you still have the foods in your freezer, such as frozen raw batter or anything else that used eggs?
And the recall includes eggs that are current, not expired in June. So look at the brands of your eggs today and see whether they are being recalled. The reason for the recall is that there is still salmonella in the eggs currently on the shelves that must be recalled.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is working with state health departments to investigate the illnesses. No deaths have been reported, said Dr. Christopher Braden, a CDC epidemiologist involved in the investigation.
Initially, 228 million eggs, or the equivalent of 19 million dozen-egg cartons, were recalled by the company Wright County Egg of Galt, Iowa. But that number was increased to nearly 32 million dozen-egg cartons. Now the figure has jumped to 380 million eggs being recalled.
Minnesota, a state with some of the best food-borne illness investigators in the country, has tied at least seven salmonella illnesses to the eggs, according to the Sacramento Bee article. Other states have seen a jump in reports of the type of salmonella.
Colorado saw 28 cases in June and July, about four times the usual number. Spikes or clusters of suspicious cases have also been reported in Arizona, Illinois, Nevada, North Carolina, Texas and Wisconsin.
Salmonella is the most common bacterial form of food poisoning. And the strain involved in the outbreak is the most common strain of salmonella, accounting for roughly 20 percent of all salmonella food poisonings.
Unfortunately, current lab tests do not allow health officials to fingerprint this form of salmonella as precisely as other kinds of food-borne illness. So determining the size of a salmonella enteritidis outbreak is a little more challenging, Braden told the reporters.
The Food and Drug Administration also is investigating. Much of the investigation so far has been centered on restaurants in California, Colorado, Minnesota and North Carolina. They are not necessarily breakfast places – it’s possible some got sick from eating a salad dressing that had a raw egg in it, or eating soup with an undercooked egg dropped in, Braden said.
In North Carolina, a cluster of about 80 illnesses in April were linked to meringue-containing chocolate pie and banana pudding served at a Durham barbecue restaurant, health officials told reporters.
Eggs from Wright County Egg were linked to illnesses in the four states. The eggs were distributed around the country and packaged under the names Lucerne, Albertson, Mountain Dairy, Ralph’s, Boomsma’s, Sunshine, Hillandale, Trafficanda, Farm Fresh, Shoreland, Lund, Dutch Farms and Kemp. It wasn’t immediately clear when the eggs were produced and distributed.
The recalled eggs also have current dates on them. That’s why the recall has been expanded as of yesterday, August 18, 2010. Eggs affected by the expanded recall were distributed to food wholesalers, distribution centers and food service companies in California, Colorado, Minnesota, Arkansas, Arizona, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Oklahoma, Oregon, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wisconsin.
The voluntary measure is about egg safety and responsibility. The FDA is “on-site to review records and inspect barns.” The officials said they began the recall Aug. 13. But ask yourself this, in Sacramento, can the FDA really hope to inspect all the barns of all those manufacturers?
The most common symptoms of salmonella are diarrhea, abdominal cramps and fever within eight hours to 72 hours of eating a contaminated product. It can be life-threatening, especially to those with weakened immune systems. Even though the chickens look healthy, they can pass this type of salmonella to their eggs. The salmonella grows inside eggs, not just on the shell.
The government says throw away your eggs or return them to the store where you bought them. Thoroughly cooking eggs can kill the bacteria. But the FDA and CDC want you to throw the eggs away, especially if you’re not able to return them. For example, restaurants that already used the eggs to make pies, custards, or other foods.
The recalled eggs are all linked to an Iowa egg producer which in turn is linked to an outbreak of salmonella poisoning, and the effects are spilling over into Sacramento, according to the August 18, 2010 Fox News 40 article online,”228 Million Eggs Recalled Over Salmonella Concerns,” by Mary Clare Jalonick, The Associated Press. Imagine, in Sacramento supermarkets are carrying eggs laid in Iowa when you’re told so often to buy local eggs. And think about the fact that one Iowa egg producer provides eggs for many states.
The federal 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.
For further information, it’s the state health officials that report the news of how those millions of tainted eggs have sickened at least 266 Californians and seven in Minnesota. The eggs were distributed around the country.