Eggs produced by Daizen Farms in Burlington, WA are from hens that ate feed contaminated with rodent droppings and Salmonella, according to the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA).
There have been no illnesses linked to the eggs, but WSDA is warning people not to eat them and has alerted stores that sold them, particularly independent Asian grocery stores and restaurants in Skagit, Snohomish and King counties. Eggs were also sold at the farm.
People who who think they may have become sick due to eating these eggs should contact their health care provider, WSDA advised in a news release.
After “heavy rodent activity” was observed during a routine U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) investigation, WSDA stated, the two agencies conducted a joint investigation. WSDA said its inspectors saw rodent droppings inside an egg-washing machine during use.
On March 8 WSDA embargoed all eggs currently at the farm to prevent their sale. All future eggs produced by the same flock, as well as chicken feed at the farm, have also been embargoed.
On March 19, the FDA laboratory in Bothell, WA confirmed that a sample of chicken feed collected during the inspection tested positive for Salmonella. WSDA said the confirmation of Salmonella-contaminated chicken feed increases the likelihood that the farm’s laying hens are infected with Salmonella.
Daizen Farms eggs are sold in 15-dozen flats and one-dozen consumer cartons. None of the egg packages contain a date stamp.
The boxes containing the 15-dozen egg flats are not marked with any branding or other identifying information, a violation of Washington state labeling requirements, WSDA said.
The one-dozen egg consumer cartons, typically sold to customers directly from the farm, are labeled with the Daizen brand.
WSDA obtained some specific distribution information from Daizen Farms, but said the records may be inaccurate or incomplete. The department advises consumers who are concerned that they may have purchased Daizen eggs to ask the store where the eggs were sourced.
WSDA also reminded consumers to thoroughly cook all eggs, regardless of source, to reduce the risk of foodborne illness.
Consumers can always reduce their chances of getting sick from eggs by:
– Keeping eggs refrigerated at less than 40° F (4° C) at all times. Buy eggs only from stores or other suppliers that keep them refrigerated.
– Discarding cracked or dirty eggs.
– Washing hands and all food contact surface areas (counter tops, utensils, dishes, and cutting boards) with soap and water after contact with raw eggs.
– Cooking eggs thoroughly until both the yolk and white are firm. Recipes containing eggs mixed with other foods should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160°F (71°C).
Additional egg safety information for consumers is available from the Centers from Disease Control and Prevention.