Port Stephens Eggs has issued a recall in Australia because of potential Salmonella Enteritidis contamination.

Eggs were sold at local butchers, independent supermarkets and retailers in Port Stephens, New South Wales. They were stamped NSW 219 and have best-before dates up to and including June 8.

Port Stephens Eggs Country Fresh Eggs Just Free to Range Eggs in 700-gram cardboard boxes and Port Stephens Eggs 12 Free Range Eggs Jumbo in 800-gram cardboard boxes are affected.

The NSW Food Authority advised that food products contaminated with Salmonella may cause illness if consumed. The agency told consumers concerned about their health to seek medical advice and to return products to the place of purchase for a full refund.

Salmonella Enteritidis can be found in the egg whites and yolk, not just on shells which makes it different than other strains. To minimize food safety risks eggs should be cooked thoroughly.

Port Stephens Eggs is the fifth company, after Steve’s Fresh Eggs, Synergy Produce Pty. Ltd., Bridgewater Poultry Eggs, Ash and Son Eggs, and Glendenning Farms to recall eggs since September 2018 as part of an investigation into a Salmonella outbreak.

Confirmed cases have been found in NSW, Victoria, Queensland and Tasmania. The outbreak strain has been detected on chicken farms in NSW, and one farm in Victoria.

Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) is coordinating the response by food regulators.

NSW Health reported the Salmonella Enteritidis outbreak has affected at least 171 residents in the state since the strain was detected in May 2018. Five cases have been recorded in Victoria and one in Tasmania.

A Queensland Health spokesperson told Food Safety News that there had not been any egg recalls due to Salmonella Enteritidis contamination in the state in the past 12 months and affected eggs were not sold in Queensland.

However, there had been three cases in residents associated with the outbreak in Australia. One case was recorded in late 2018 and two have been reported in 2019 – one in January and one in March.

Salmonellosis symptoms include fever, headache, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting. They usually start around six to 72 hours after contaminated food is eaten and last for four to seven days but can continue for longer.

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