As you may have heard in the news recently, a massive nationwide egg recall was issued for nine states along the East coast because of potential Salmonella contamination. No doubt, you may be wondering if your eggs are included on the list, and if they are safe to eat. The article will explain what Salmonella is, how it can get into an egg in the first place, the products that are being recalled, and how to prevent and treat a foodborne illness.
- Salmonella braenderup is a strain of Salmonella that can affect poultry, eggs, and dairy products. It is found in the intestines and feces of infected humans and animals, including chickens. The chickens can pass on the bacteria to the egg before the shell develops, or after laying if the egg is exposed to feces of the infected animal.
- Cleaning and inspection practices help prevent or decrease the potential for contamination.
- Animals are frequently tested for Salmonella, and treated accordingly. In the manufacturing process, eggs are tested as well and taken out of the line so they don’t get mixed with healthy eggs. An infected chicken will not always lay infected eggs! It will lay normal eggs with a few being contaminated.
- Therefore, the batches in the recall are not all contaminated. However, it’s not possible to know which eggs are contaminated, so to be extra cautious, the recall is for any eggs that come from a particular location.
- There is no evidence that organic, free-range, naturally raised or fed chickens are any healthier or safer from contamination than conventionally raised chickens.
The recall comes from Rose Acre Farms with eggs labeled under brands that include Coburn Farms, Country Daybreak, Food Lion store brand, Crystal Farms, Great Value, and Sunshine Farms. Stores and some restaurants in Colorado, Florida, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia may be carrying the affected brands.The complete list can be found on the FDA website. You can also check your egg carton for plant number P-1065 and Julian date range of 011-102.
Stores that carry eggs distributed under Cal-Maine Foods were added, including Publix, which is recalling their 18-pack extra large eggs due to the possibility of contamination. Only the following product is recalled from Publix: Package UPC code: 41415 00966; Package lot codes: P1359D 048A, P1359D 049A; Best before date: Apr 02 2018, Apr 03 2018. Other Cal-Maine eggs include: Sunups Large 18 pack; XL Loose Generic 15 dozen; Restricted eggs; and Breaking Stock 30 dozen.
- Check the above FDA link to see the complete list to determine if your eggs were included in the recall.
- If they were, throw them out or return them to the store for a refund. You can also contact the store for information.
- If you ate any of the eggs, look for symptoms that include fever, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea.
- Symptoms appear 12-72 hours after eating the contaminated product.
- Most people will experience the symptoms for a few days, but their body will fight it. Those at most risk are the elderly, young children, and those with a compromised immune system due to illness or medication.
- To prevent possible illness at any time, cook eggs thoroughly, and wash hands before and after handling food and after using the restroom.
- The best treatment includes washing your hands before and after handling food and after using the restroom, to minimize passing it on to others. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated, and eat foods that won’t irritate your stomach like plain toast, bananas, and other mild non-spicy foods.
- See a physician if symptoms get worse or don’t go away after a few days.
If you have any questions, you can contact your local health department for information, as they are the first line of communication during food outbreaks. The Osceola County Health Department can be reached at 407-343-2000. You can also contact your local Extension office. UF/IFAS Extension in Osceola County can be reached at 321-697-3000.