Salmonella Outbreak Linked To Eggs - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Illnesses Linked To Eggs Will Likely Grow

WASHINGTON (AP) - Federal health officials say a salmonella outbreak that has sickened hundreds and led to the recall of hundreds of millions of eggs will likely grow. The Centers for Disease Control says that's because illnesses occurring after mid-July may not have been reported yet.

Almost 2,000 illnesses from the strain of salmonella linked to the eggs were reported between May and July, about 1,300 more than usual. No deaths have been reported.

California, Colorado and Minnesota have tied illnesses to the outbreak, while Arizona, Illinois, Nevada, North Carolina, Texas band Wisconsin have seen spikes or clusters of suspicious cases.

The recall of 380 million eggs from Iowa's Wright County Egg is one of the largest shell egg recalls in recent history.

A Food and Drug Administration spokeswoman says the outbreak could have been prevented if new rules to ensure egg safety had been in place a few months earlier.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE:

ATLANTA (AP) - A salmonella outbreak linked to eggs has sickened hundreds of people in four states and possibly more. Health officials are focusing their investigations on restaurants in California, Colorado, Minnesota and North Carolina.

Suspicious cases have cropped up in five other states. Wright County Egg of Galt, Iowa, has recalled nearly 32 million dozen-egg cartons.

The new recall covers eggs branded as Albertsons, Farm Fresh, James Farms, Glenview, Mountain Dairy, Ralph's, Boomsma, Lund, Kemps and Pacific Coast and are marked with a three-digit code ranging from 136 to 229 and plant numbers 1720 and 1942, the company said.

The earlier recall covered the Lucerne, Albertson, Mountain Dairy, Ralph's, Boomsma, Sunshine, Hillandale, Trafficanda, Farm Fresh, Shoreland, Lund, Dutch Farms and Kemps brands that were marked with with a three-digit code ranging from 136 to 225 and plant numbers 1026, 1413 and 1946.

The four-digit plant number begins with "P - " and is followed by the three-digit code.

Both recalls affect eggs packed in several different sized cartons, from a half-dozen to 18 eggs. Only shell eggs are affected by the recall, the company said.

Consumers are encouraged to return the eggs in their original packaging to where they were purchased for a full refund.

Salmonella bacteria can be found inside and outside of eggs that appear to be normal.

Given the health risks posed by eggs, the FDA offers the following safety advice on its website:

-- Don't eat recalled eggs or products containing recalled eggs. Recalled eggs might still be in grocery stores, restaurants, and consumers' homes. Consumers who have recalled eggs should discard them or return them to their retailer for a refund. Individuals who think they might have become ill from eating recalled eggs should consult their health care providers.

-- Keep shell eggs refrigerated at temperatures no higher than 45 degrees Fahrenheit (7 degrees Celsius) at all times.

-- Discard cracked or dirty eggs.

-- Wash hands, cooking utensils, and food preparation surfaces with soap and water after contact with raw eggs.

-- Eggs should be cooked until both the white and the yolk are firm and eaten promptly after cooking.

-- Do not keep eggs warm or at room temperature for more than 2 hours.

-- Refrigerate unused or leftover egg-containing foods promptly.

-- Avoid eating raw eggs.

-- Avoid restaurant dishes made with raw or undercooked, unpasteurized eggs. Restaurants should use pasteurized eggs in any recipe (such as Hollandaise sauce or Caesar salad dressing) that calls for raw eggs.

-- Consumption of raw or undercooked eggs should be avoided, especially by young children, elderly persons, and person with weakened immune systems or debilitating illness.

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