An outbreak of salmonella in eggs has prompted a nationwide recall and lead to hospitalizations in counties across the U.S., including in California, the San Jose Mercury News reports. Since May, at least 266 people across the state have become ill after eating contaminated eggs. Federal and state public health and agriculture officials led an ongoing investigation that traced a strain of salmonella, Salmonella enteritidis, back to eggs distributed by Wright County Egg in Galt, Iowa.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Tuesday that the Iowa distributor had voluntarily recalled the eggs–228 million total–Friday. The recalled brands include Lucerne, Albertsons, Mountain Dairy, Ralph's, Boomsma's, Sunshine, Hillandale, Trafficanda, Farm Fresh, Shoreland, Lund, Dutch Farms and Kemps. They feature plant numbers 1026, 1413 and 1946. They also include date numbers from 136 to 225, which translate into sell-by dates between May 16 and August 13. The eggs are packed in varying sizes of cartons (6-egg, 12-egg, 18-egg).
According to the Food and Drug Administration, eggs affected by this recall were distributed to food wholesalers, distribution centers and food service companies in California, Illinois, Missouri, Colorado, Nebraska, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa. These companies distribute nationwide.
Common symptoms of salmonella poisoining include diarrhea, fever, cramps, nausea and vomiting beginning 12 to 72 hours after consumption. In rare cases this strain can cause death unless it is treated promptly with antibiotics, according to the CDC.
The salmonella bacteria grows on the shell and inside the egg. Consumers are urged to wash eggs and anything that comes in direct contact with them. Although the eggs have been recalled, the CDC advises consumers to be aware that contaminated eggs might still be on grocery store shelves and in restaurants and homes.
“Our farm strives to provide our customers with safe, high-quality eggs–that is our responsibility and our commitment,” Wright County Egg said in a statement. “Our primary concern is keeping salmonella out of the food supply and away from consumers.”
Consumers who believe they may have purchased the eggs should return them to the store where they were purchased for a full refund.