If you have a carton of eggs sitting in your refrigerator, you're probably going to want to take a good long look at them right about now. This past weekend, it was revealed that over 200 million eggs have been recalled over salmonella fears. This warning affects several states and different brand names, and is the largest egg recall since 2010, when 550 million were recalled because of salmonella. You might consider swearing off eggs until this passes, but first you should know how to find out if your brand was affected — there's no need to toss something that's totally fine!
According to Food Safety News, Rose Acre Farms in Seymour, Indiana chose to recall 206,749,248 eggs because they have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella Braenderup, typically just referred to as salmonella. The farm decided to initiate the recall after at least 22 illnesses across the East Coast were reported and traced back to its egg production farm in Hyde County, North Carolina. This farm produces 2.3 million eggs each day, so it's definitely not a small facility.
Reports say that the potentially contaminated eggs reached stores in ten different states: Colorado, Florida, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia. If you purchased eggs in stores in any of these states, you're going to want to check them out. The brand names for the eggs include:
- Country Daybreak
- Crystal Farms
- Coburn Farms
- Food Lion's store brand
- Sunshine Farms
- Great Value (Walmart's brand)
According to the FDA, the affected eggs are from plant number P-1065 with the a date range of 011 through 102 printed on the package or carton.
Salmonella is a form of food poisoning that should be taken seriously. The organism can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, elderly people, and anyone with a weakened immune system. Side effects include fever, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. In rare cases, an infection can end up in the bloodstream and produce more serious illnesses. Symptoms usually appear six to 48 hours after eating a contaminated food, but sometimes the period of time can be even longer. Illnesses will usually last about four to seven days, and most people will recover without antibiotic treatment, although some will need to be hospitalized.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), salmonella can contaminate eggs when infected chickens transfer the bacteria to the eggs before the shells are formed. The bacteria can also pass through chicken feces on the eggs.
The CDC also warns that you should always heed caution when preparing eggs, recall or not. They say that eggs should be cooked until both the yolk and white are firm, at an internal temperature of 160°F (71°C) or hotter. You should be eating or refrigerating any eggs or food made with eggs immediately after cooking — the CDC warns against leaving eggs or food made with eggs warm or at room temperature for more than two hours, or one hour if the temperature is 90 degrees F or hotter. You should also be washing your hands and any cooking items that came into contact with raw eggs with soap and warm water.
As of right now, 22 people have reported becoming sick after eating contaminated eggs and no one has died from complications. The FDA is currently involved in an investigation of the facility where the eggs were contaminated.
This isn't the only big food recall that has happened lately. The news about this recall came out the same day the CDC announced a recall on chopped romaine lettuce in several different states because of an E-coli outbreak. At least 22 people were hospitalized from that outbreak.