Salmonella Eggs Linked to 1,600+ IllnessesSep 21, 2010 | Parker Waichman LLP
The number of Salmonella cases linked to contaminated eggs has topped 1,600, according to the latest update from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The agency also said the outbreak appears to have peaked in July.
As we’ve reported previously, Wright County Egg and Hillandale Farms have recalled more than half a billion eggs due to a nationwide outbreak of Salmonella enteritidis. So far, the CDC has received 1,608 reports of illnesses that may be linked to the recalled eggs. The CDC alert said that illnesses that occurred after August 12 still may not be reported, and also noted that there are likely more cases as most incidences of food borne illnesses are never reported.
The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has identified 17 Salmonella samples from the two egg producers that are inextinguishable from the outbreak strain. Samples were collected from manure, as well as traffic areas such as walkways, equipment, other surfaces in and around the farm, and from the feed mill at Wright County Egg in Iowa.
The feed was provided to pullets (young female chickens or hens) raised at Wright County Egg facilities in Iowa. Pullets are distributed to all premises at Wright County Egg and Hillandale Farms in Iowa. These findings indicate that Wright County Egg and Hillandale Farms of Iowa are the likely sources of the contaminated shell eggs, the CDC said. The FDA has not found that this feed was distributed to any companies other than Wright County Egg and Hillandale Farms of Iowa.
According to the CDC, people infected with Salmonella Enteritidis usually experience fever, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea beginning 12 to 72 hours after consuming a contaminated food or beverage. The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days, and most persons recover without antibiotic treatment. However, the diarrhea can be severe, and hospitalization may be required. The elderly, infants, and those with impaired immune systems may have a more serious illness. In these patients, the infection may spread from the intestines to the blood stream, and then to other body sites and can cause death unless the person is treated promptly with antibiotics.