Not so eggcellent?
A half-billion eggs have been recalled in the nationwide investigation of a salmonella outbreak. More than 1,000 people have already been sickened and the toll of illnesses is expected to increase. The latest recall puts the total number of potentially tainted eggs at over half a billion.
An FDA spokeswoman said the two recalls are related. The strain of salmonella causing the poisoning is the same in both cases, salmonella enteritidis.The eggs recalled Friday were distributed under the brand names Hillandale Farms, Sunny Farms, Sunny Meadow, Wholesome Farms and West Creek. The new recall applies to eggs sold between April and August.
Hillandale said the eggs were distributed to grocery distribution centers, retail groceries and food service companies which service or are located in fourteen states, including Arkansas, California, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Texas, and Wisconsin.
A food safety expert at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., said the source of the outbreak could be rodents, shipments of contaminated hens, or tainted feed. Microbiology professor Patrick McDonough said he was not surprised to hear about two recalls involving different egg companies, because in other outbreaks there have also been multiple sources."You need biosecurity of the hen house, you want a rodent control program and you want to have hens put into that environment that are salmonella free," McDonough said.The salmonella bacteria is not passed from hen to hen, but usually from rodent droppings to chickens, he added. This strain of bacteria is found inside a chicken's ovaries, and gets inside an egg.
Almost 2,000 illnesses from the strain of salmonella linked to both recalls were reported between May and July, almost 1,300 more than usual, Braden said. No deaths have been reported. The CDC is continuing to receive information from state health departments as people report their illnesses. Thoroughly cooking eggs can kill the bacteria. But health officials are recommending people throw away or return the recalled eggs.
A sign warns customers of the recall of certain lots of eggs that had been previously sold at a supermarket in Los Angeles. No eggs currently on the shelf at this store were affected by the recall. I guess we will never leave the eggs out of refridgeration.