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1,300 Sick From Bad Eggs, CDC Says

The nationwide Salmonella outbreak associated with the recall of 380 million eggs from a single Iowa producer got bigger yesterday.

And one of the nation’s top food safety advocates predicted the outbreak “will likely grow over the coming weeks.”

In a media conference call, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta disclosed that between May and June about 1,300 people were infected with the acute bacterial infection known as Salmonellosis from the bad eggs.

egg-recall1-featured.jpgSome 1,953 people were infected with the strain of Salmonella involved in the outbreak, and CDC’s Christopher Braden said the normal number for that period would be around 700.   CDC attributes the additional illnesses to the outbreak.

Sherri McGarry of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, speaking at the same media conference, said the Wright County Egg recall is now one of the largest shell egg recalls in history.

The Aug. 13 recall by the Iowa producer was expanded five days later to the current 380 million eggs that were distributed in 17 states.

Eggs under the August 13, 2010 recall by Wright County Egg are packaged under the following brand names: Lucerne, Albertson, Mountain Dairy, Ralph’s, Boomsma’s, Sunshine, Hillandale, Trafficanda, Farm Fresh, Shoreland, Lund, Dutch Farms, and Kemps. Eggs are packed in varying sizes of cartons (6-egg cartons, dozen egg cartons, 18-egg cartons, and loose eggs for institutional use and repackaging) with Julian dates ranging from 136 to 225 and plant numbers 1026, 1413 and 1946.

Eggs affected by the expanded recall were distributed to food wholesalers, distribution centers and foodservice companies in California, Arizona, Missouri, Minnesota, Texas, Georgia, Washington, Oregon, Colorado, Nevada, Iowa, Illinois, Utah, Nebraska, Arkansas, Wisconsin, and Oklahoma. These companies distribute nationwide.

Eggs recalled under the expanded recall were packaged under the following brand names: Albertsons, Farm Fresh, James Farms, Glenview, Mountain Dairy, Ralphs, Boomsma, Lund, Kemps and Pacific Coast.  Eggs are packed in varying sizes of cartons (6-egg cartons, dozen egg cartons, 18-egg cartons, and loose eggs for institutional use and repackaging) with Julian dates ranging from 136 to 229 and plant numbers 1720 and 1942.

Dates and codes can be found stamped on the end of the egg carton or printed on the case label. The plant number begins with the letter P and then the number. The Julian date follows the plant number, for example: P-1720 223.   

egg-carton-end.jpgIn addition, yesterday Country Eggs, Inc. of Los Angeles, CA, recalled eggs that were distributed to food wholesalers, distribution centers, and foodservice companies in California, Arizona, and Nevada. Eggs were packaged under the Country Eggs, Inc brand name in 15 dozen bulk pack with the identifying plant code of P 1946 and P 1026.  Julian code dates are 216-221. Dates and codes can be found on the box label.

The California Department of Public Health released a list of recalled egg products sold in the state yesterday, as well.

FDA officials said new egg safety rules that took effect July 9 for producers with more than 50,000 hens should help reduce the risk of such outbreaks in the future.  Smaller producers have two more years to comply.

Caroline Smith DeWaal, food safety director at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, called it “ironic” that the egg recall is unfolding just over a month after the new egg regulations went into effect.

DeWaal said “the outbreak demonstrates the need for a food safety cop-on-the-beat.”   She noted FDA’s statement that it was not allowed to inspect the Wright facility until the new egg regulations took effect.

“FDA needs a strong inspection force with the tools to mandate recalls, impose civil and criminal penalties, and require testing at farm and production facilities,” she said.

Cornell University’s Patrick McDonough, professor of microbiology, says hens with infected ovaries do not show any clinical signs.   “When the shell is laid down, it actually covers the yolk, the albumen, and the infection,” he says.

McDonough says if everything worked like it is supposed to, “we would not have Salmonella enteritidis outbreaks.”

© Food Safety News
  • Caroline Smith DeWaal’s comments made me laugh out loud. She is nothing if not consistent. No matter what happens, her response always is that the FDA et al need additional power.
    Let’s look at what she said this time.
    “DeWaal said, ‘the outbreak demonstrates the need for a food safety cop-on-the-beat.’”
    Isn’t that what the FDA & FSIS are supposed to be?
    “She noted FDA’s statement that it was not allowed to inspect the Wright facility until the new egg regulations took effect.”
    Really? What stopped them? It is an egg processing facility regulated by the FDA. Is the FDA trying to tell us that it has the authority to inspect an Amish dairy farmer (http://foodfreedom.wordpress.com/2010/02/08/fda-agents-invade-amish-farm-in-pa/) but it didn’t have the authority to inspect Wright County Egg until the final Shell Egg Rule, it took 19 years to write, was in force?
    “FDA needs a strong inspection force with the tools to mandate recalls, impose civil and criminal penalties, and require testing at farm and production facilities.”
    What difference would that have made in this case, Ms. DeWaal? Was the recall delayed? In responding to the outbreak, what has Wright County Egg refused to do that the FDA wanted? Many of the eggs recalled were produced after FDA’s rule, “Prevention of Salmonella Enteritidis in Shell Eggs During Production, Storage, and Transportation,” (final Shell Egg Rule) was in force. Was Wright County Egg not compliant with the new rule on those eggs?
    “Caroline Smith DeWaal, food safety director at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, called it ‘ironic’ that the egg recall is unfolding just over a month after the new egg regulations went into effect.”
    She may find it “ironic.” I don’t; nor do I find it surprising. Rather, the Wright County Egg outbreak demonstrates the ineffectiveness of the types of food safety regulation that Ms. DeWaal and the Make Our Food Safe Coalition advocate.
    From the “USA Today” article published in my local paper (the Asheville Citizen-Times); it is clear that the question of the effectiveness of the new regs was raised to Jeff Farrar, Associate Commissioner of Food Protection in the FDA’s Office of Foods. The article reported, “Although a new FDA egg-safety rule took effect July 9, officials can’t say ‘with 100% certainty’ that it would have prevented the current outbreak.”
    Really, Mr. Farrar? The final Shell Egg Rule was in force for part of the production that was recalled. Obviously, the FDA’s rule didn’t prevent the need to recall those eggs. Furthermore, there’s a very simple, straightforward way to learn whether or not Wright County Egg was in compliance with the new rules during the entire period covered by the recall: ask it.
    Once again, we have a huge recall by a very large company in the industrial food system. And, once again, there is NO evidence that the regulators are asking some of the most important questions: “What food safety procedures were in force at the time of the event(s) that caused the recall/outbreak? How did the problem that arose get around them? As is surely the case with Fresh Express, my guess is that Wright County Egg was already doing more than the S 510/.HR 2749 food safety approach calls for. If so, what difference with S 510/HR 2749 will make to the safety of food in America? Why should these procedures then be imposed on small growers, etc. if they don’t work for the large ones already using them?
    The U.S. Senate needs these questions answered BEFORE voting on S 510.

  • Caroline Smith DeWaal’s comments made me laugh out loud. She is nothing if not consistent. No matter what happens, her response always is that the FDA et al need additional power.
    Let’s look at what she said this time.
    “DeWaal said, ‘the outbreak demonstrates the need for a food safety cop-on-the-beat.’”
    Isn’t that what the FDA & FSIS are supposed to be?
    “She noted FDA’s statement that it was not allowed to inspect the Wright facility until the new egg regulations took effect.”
    Really? What stopped them? It is an egg processing facility regulated by the FDA. Is the FDA trying to tell us that it has the authority to inspect an Amish dairy farmer (http://foodfreedom.wordpress.com/2010/02/08/fda-agents-invade-amish-farm-in-pa/) but it didn’t have the authority to inspect Wright County Egg until the final Shell Egg Rule, it took 19 years to write, was in force?
    “FDA needs a strong inspection force with the tools to mandate recalls, impose civil and criminal penalties, and require testing at farm and production facilities.”
    What difference would that have made in this case, Ms. DeWaal? Was the recall delayed? In responding to the outbreak, what has Wright County Egg refused to do that the FDA wanted? Many of the eggs recalled were produced after FDA’s rule, “Prevention of Salmonella Enteritidis in Shell Eggs During Production, Storage, and Transportation,” (final Shell Egg Rule) was in force. Was Wright County Egg not compliant with the new rule on those eggs?
    “Caroline Smith DeWaal, food safety director at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, called it ‘ironic’ that the egg recall is unfolding just over a month after the new egg regulations went into effect.”
    She may find it “ironic.” I don’t; nor do I find it surprising. Rather, the Wright County Egg outbreak demonstrates the ineffectiveness of the types of food safety regulation that Ms. DeWaal and the Make Our Food Safe Coalition advocate.
    From the “USA Today” article published in my local paper (the Asheville Citizen-Times); it is clear that the question of the effectiveness of the new regs was raised to Jeff Farrar, Associate Commissioner of Food Protection in the FDA’s Office of Foods. The article reported, “Although a new FDA egg-safety rule took effect July 9, officials can’t say ‘with 100% certainty’ that it would have prevented the current outbreak.”
    Really, Mr. Farrar? The final Shell Egg Rule was in force for part of the production that was recalled. Obviously, the FDA’s rule didn’t prevent the need to recall those eggs. Furthermore, there’s a very simple, straightforward way to learn whether or not Wright County Egg was in compliance with the new rules during the entire period covered by the recall: ask it.
    Once again, we have a huge recall by a very large company in the industrial food system. And, once again, there is NO evidence that the regulators are asking some of the most important questions: “What food safety procedures were in force at the time of the event(s) that caused the recall/outbreak? How did the problem that arose get around them? As is surely the case with Fresh Express, my guess is that Wright County Egg was already doing more than the S 510/.HR 2749 food safety approach calls for. If so, what difference with S 510/HR 2749 will make to the safety of food in America? Why should these procedures then be imposed on small growers, etc. if they don’t work for the large ones already using them?
    The U.S. Senate needs these questions answered BEFORE voting on S 510.

  • The Julian date 136 = May 16th, 190 = July 9th, 223 = August 11th. Thus, 54 days of Wright County Egg’s recall eggs were produced BEFORE the new FDA Shell Egg Rule went into effect and 34 days were, AFTER they went into effect.
    Assuming even production every day, approximately 127,000,000 of the recalled eggs were produced AFTER the new FDA Shell Egg Rule went into effect.
    Clearly, the new FDA Shell Egg Rule didn’t stop the event(s) which led to this recall.

  • The Julian date 136 = May 16th, 190 = July 9th, 223 = August 11th. Thus, 54 days of Wright County Egg’s recall eggs were produced BEFORE the new FDA Shell Egg Rule went into effect and 34 days were, AFTER they went into effect.
    Assuming even production every day, approximately 127,000,000 of the recalled eggs were produced AFTER the new FDA Shell Egg Rule went into effect.
    Clearly, the new FDA Shell Egg Rule didn’t stop the event(s) which led to this recall.

  • nikki branscum

    my wife is sick, we ate eggs with a date jul. 17 2010 with a no. of p1084 17 9 made at sunny meadow, 18 ct. box
    my cell no is 806 292 7211 my wife has been sick for three days now ?