Eggs Source of Latest Salmonella Outbreak

Illnesses prompt recall of several brands, including some distributed to c-stores

WASHINGTON -- On August 13, 2010, Wright County Egg of Galt, Iowa, conducted a nationwide voluntary recall of shell eggs that it had shipped since May 19, 2010, to food wholesalers, distribution centers and foodservice companies in California, Illinois, Missouri, Colorado, Nebraska, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa. These companies distribute nationwide. The eggs have the potential to be contaminated with salmonella, according to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA).

Nearly 300 cases of illness in California, Minnesota and Colorado have been linked to the dangerous [image-nocss] strain of salmonella, and health officials are now looking for links between the people infected by salmonella poisoning. The latest spate of egg-related contaminations could become the worst in decades, said a report by ABC News, as the number of recalled eggs continues to skyrocket amid fears of a worsening salmonella outbreak.

Wright County Egg has recalled 380 million eggs, or 32 million dozen-egg cartons.

The recalled shell eggs are packaged under the following brand names: Lucerne, Albertson, Mountain Dairy, Ralph's, Boomsma's, Sunshine, Hillandale, Trafficanda, Farm Fresh, Shoreland, Lund, Dutch Farms and Kemps.

State and local partners are also investigating human salmonella infections in Arizona, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maryland, North Carolina, Nevada, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Texas.

The eggs are packed in varying sizes of cartons (six-egg cartons, dozen egg cartons, 18-egg cartons) with Julian dates ranging from 136 to 225 and plant numbers 1026, 1413 and 1946. Dates and codes can be found stamped on the end of the egg carton. The plant number begins with the letter P and then the number. The Julian date follows the plant number, for example: P-1946 223.

There have been confirmed salmonella enteritidis illnesses relating to the shell eggs and traceback investigations are ongoing.

"Wright County Egg is fully cooperating with FDA's investigation by undertaking this voluntary recall," it said. "Our primary concern is keeping Salmonella out of the food supply and away from consumers. As a precautionary measure, Wright County Egg also has decided to divert its existing inventory of shell eggs to a breaker, where they will be pasteurized to kill any Salmonella bacteria present."

St. Paul, Minn.-based Kemps sold affected eggs to small foodservice and small retail accounts including convenience stores, company spokesperson Rachel Kyllo told The Star Tribune. And The Maryville Daily Forum said that various affected brands are carried by some local supermarkets and c-stores in northwest Missouri.Reasor's, Walmart, Braum's, Homeland, Walgreens and QuikTrip said they are not affected by the recall, said <I>The Tulsa World</I>.Click hereto view the full FDA release.