With all of the reports of food borne-illnesses as of late, you might feel like the only things that are safe to eat and drink are bread and water. While this isn't exactly the case, unfortunately, more illnesses are being reported. A salmonella outbreak linked to eggs is spreading, according to CNN, and there are a few things you should be aware of in order to stay healthy. You may remember the chicken-salad salmonella scare back in April, and the ongoing E. coli romaine lettuce debacle. Now, you can cross eggs off your list of safe foods to eat, especially if you bought your eggs at Walmart or Food Lion, the Centers for Disease Control reported.
The CDC noted that the contaminated eggs have been traced by to Rose Acre Farms' Hyde County farm, and 35 people in nine states have been sickened over the last month. While 11 people have been hospitalized, no one has died as a result of the salmonella contamination. According to the CDC, the eggs were sold under a number of names, including Coburn Farms, Country Daybreak, Food Lion, Glenview, Great Value, Nelms, Publix, Sunshine Farms, and Sunups. If you purchased one of these brands, the CDC recommends you check the package for the following numbers: "P-1065 (the plant number) and another set of numbers between 011 and 102 (the Julian date), or, for Publix and Sunups egg cartons, plant number P-1359D and Julian date 048A or 049A with Best By dates of APR 02 and APR 03."
If you discover that you do have these eggs in your fridge, throw them out immediately, even if you've already eaten some and haven't gotten sick. Next, the CDC advised that you should disinfect the shelves or drawers in your fridge were the eggs were stored. And, just to be safe, you might want to skip eating any kind of runny eggs, even if they're not on the recall list. "Eggs should be cooked until both the yolk and white are firm. Scrambled eggs should not be runny," the CDC noted.
Although some people with salmonella infection don't have any symptoms, others can experience severe gastrointestinal distress. "Others develop diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps within eight to 72 hours. Most healthy people recover within a few days without specific treatment," the Mayo Clinic noted on its website. "In some cases, the diarrhea associated with salmonella infection can be so dehydrating as to require prompt medical attention. Life-threatening complications also may develop if the infection spreads beyond your intestines."
You can contract salmonella infection from eating undercooked foods or from drinking contaminated water, the CDC stated. This is why it's important to keep raw foods, like salads and vegetables, separate from raw meat. "Cross-contamination of foods should be avoided. Uncooked meats should be kept separate from produce, cooked foods, and ready-to-eat foods. Hands, cutting boards, counters, knives, and other utensils should be washed thoroughly after touching uncooked foods. Hands should be washed before handling food, and between handling different food items." In fact, unclean cutting boards are a major source of food contamination.
What's more, if you're preparing food, make sure to wash your hands before touching anything edible. This is especially important if you've been handling animals, or performing a task like cleaning Fluffy's litter box. In the first five months of 2018, six salmonella outbreaks have been reported by the CDC, which is why it's always a good idea to be vigilant about making sure your food is cooked thorough. However, if you have intestinal distress that won't stop, it's time to see a doctor to make sure you don't become dehydrated.