Egg Salmonella Recall Expanded to 360M Eggs as Illnesses Spikes

A nationwide egg recall has been expanded to 360 million eggs as the number of salmonella food poisoning cases have begun to spike across the country. 

The FDA announced the expansion of the Wright County Egg recall this week to cover all five of the Wright County Egg farms. The original egg salmonella recall, issued on August 13, was only for 228 million eggs on three of its farms. The recall was expanded after epidemiologic and traceback information indicated the contamination may have occurred at all five farms.

The egg recall has been expanded to include eggs in their shell in 6, 12, and 18-egg cartons under labels from Albertsons, Farm Fresh, James Farms, Glenview, Mountain Dairy, Ralphs, Boomsma, Lund, Kemps and Pacific Coast. The eggs have Julian dates from 136 to 229 and plant numbers 1720 and 1942. On the cartons, the plant number comes after the letter “P” and is followed by the Julian Date.

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The eggs in the recall expansion were shipped on May 16 to wholesalers and distribution centers in California, Illinois, Missouri, Colorado, Nebraska, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Arizona, Texas, Georgia, Washington, Oregon, Nevada, Utah, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Iowa. From there, eggs were shipped nationwide.

A number of those states have reported increases in food poisoning cases. However, the strain of salmonella involved in the egg recall, Salmonella Enteritidis, cannot be identified as precisely as other forms of salmonella by lab testing, which means that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state health departments are not certain how many of the illnesses can be directly attributed to contaminated eggs.

Clusters of unusual numbers of salmonella poisoning have been reported in Arizona, California, Colorado, Illinois, Nevada, North Carolina, Texas and Wisconsin.

The CDC reports that from May 1 to July 31, 2010, there were 1,953 Salmonella Enteritidis illnesses reported, compared to an average of 700 such illnesses reported over the last five years during the same time period. The CDC estimates that only one out of every 38.5 people who have contracted the illness actually gets counted. In many cases people don’t go to the hospital or the illnesses don’t otherwise get reported to CDC. That means that nearly 50,000 people could potentially have fallen ill due to contaminated Wright County eggs. 

Salmonella is a type of bacteria that attacks the gastrointestinal tract, causing mild to severe food poisoning. For most healthy adults, symptoms of food poisoning from salmonella typically resolve after a few days or weeks. However, young children, the elderly, and individuals with compromised immune systems have an increased risk of suffering severe food poisoning after ingesting the bacteria. If not properly treated, some cases of salmonella food poisoning can lead to hospitalization, dehydration or death.

Consumers who have purchased eggs affected by the recall should not consume the eggs and should return them to their place of purchase for a full refund. The recall is limited to eggs sold in their shells. Other Wright County Egg products are not affected.

2 Comments

  • ChelseaNovember 10, 2010 at 9:16 pm

    BOUGHT EGGS, BOILED 7-10 MIN. BEEN VERY SICK FOR 2 DAYS

  • JosephAugust 20, 2010 at 5:13 pm

    My wife ate an omelet made of four egg whites of eggs purchased on Aug 19, and has been sick for over a day now:upset stomach, vomiting and diarrhea

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