Saturday, August 21, 2010

Salmonella: More Bad Eggs

"Second Iowa farm recalls eggs in salmonella sweep"
Reuters (August 21, 2010)

"A second Iowa egg farm is recalling eggs as part of an investigation into a U.S. salmonella outbreak that is linked to almost 300 illnesses across the country, federal regulators said on Friday.

"Hillandale Farms of Iowa Inc is voluntarily recalling shell eggs potentially contaminated with salmonella in an expanding national egg recall that is among the largest in recent years, according to the Food and Drug Administration.

" 'Through tracebacks conducted as part of its ongoing investigation into the increase of Salmonella Enteritidis illnesses nationwide, FDA and the State of Minnesota identified Hillandale Farms in Iowa as a second potential source of contaminated shell eggs,' FDA said in a statement.

"The first potential source is another Iowa egg producer, Wright County Egg, which recalled 380 million eggs on Thursday...."

This may or may not be a "second" source for tainted eggs. Hillandale shows up on an August 18, 2010 list from the FDA. I wrote about this before. (August 20, 2010)

Does this seem like a lot of fuss over an upset tummy?

Maybe: but the American food distribution system is not supposed to let salmonella get on your table. We take the idea of safe food pretty seriously here.

More than 270 illness, so far, are connected to these bad eggs. The cases are in California, Colorado, and Mississippi, according to the Reuters article. That's literally one in a million Americans - but like I say, we take safe food pretty seriously.


"...Salmonella can cause fever, diarrhea, vomiting and abdominal pain and sometimes more serious illness or death...."

So far, we've been - lucky? - with this outbreak. No deaths, as far as I've heard.

On the other hand:
"Egg Recall Expands to More than Half-Billion Eggs"
The Associated Press, via FOXNews (August 20, 2010)

"More than a half-billion eggs have been recalled in the nationwide investigation of a salmonella outbreak that Friday expanded to include a second Iowa farm. The outbreak has already sickened more than 1,000 people and the toll of illnesses is expected to increase.

"Iowa's Hillandale Farms said Friday it was recalling more than 170 million eggs after laboratory tests confirmed salmonella. The company did not say if its action was connected to the recall by Wright County Egg, another Iowa farm that recalled 380 million eggs earlier this week. The latest recall puts the total number of potentially tainted eggs at about 550 million.

"FDA spokeswoman Pat El-Hinnawy said the two recalls are related. The strain of salmonella bacteria causing the poisoning is the same in both cases, salmonella enteritidis.

"Federal officials say it's one of the largest egg recalls in recent history. Americans consume about 220 million eggs a day, based on industry estimates. Iowa is the leading egg producing state.

"The eggs recalled Friday were distributed under the brand names Hillandale Farms, Sunny Farms, Sunny Meadow, Wholesome Farms and West Creek. The new recall applies to eggs sold between April and August...."

Never mind the Hillandale name showing up in an older listing from the FDA. The AP article's a bit more detailed: and it looks like there's a second recall, announced yesterday.

I'm going to break the brands and the states affected out into lists, as I've done in previous posts:
  • Brands:
    • Hillandale Farms
    • Sunny Farms
    • Sunny Meadow
    • Wholesome Farms
    • West Creek
  • States where they were sent:
    • Arkansas
    • California
    • Iowa
    • Illinois
    • Indiana
    • Kansas
    • Minnesota
    • Missouri
    • Nebraska
    • North Dakota
    • Ohio
    • South Dakota
    • Texas
    • Wisconsin.
The irony of those squeaky-clean names, like "Wholesome Farms," adds a sort of grim humor to this mess. Or maybe that's just me.
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