Salmonella from eggs sickens 266 in Calif.

228 million eggs are being recalled
August 18, 2010 12:04:19 AM PDT
There is a massive, voluntary, nationwide egg recall that has already made lots of people in the Bay Area sick and sent dozens to the hospital.

Federal officials have recalled 228 million eggs, linked to a salmonella outbreak. So far, at least 266 Californians have gotten sick -- 14 percent of those cases came from Santa Clara County.

"If you have any of those brands, if you bought any of the ones on the voluntary recall list, don't eat them," says Joy Alexiou from the Santa Clara County of Public Health Department.

In Santa Clara County alone 38 people have tested positive for salmonella and three were so sick, they had to be hospitalized.

"A few people we could trace back to similar food or eating eggs, but the issue is because of the lab testing, we know it's the same strain which is the strain that is in this outbreak," says Alexiou.

Santa Clara County and several other California public health agencies were the first to alert the CDC in the early summer that the salmonella outbreak was directly linked to eggs. Then, the feds tracked down the specific source.

The CDC found eggs produced in Galt, Iowa at Wright County Egg were tied to 200 salmonella illnesses in California, Colorado, and Minnesota.

The Wright County eggs were then distributed and packaged under 13 different brands and now all of those are being voluntarily recalled. The most common brands sold in California are Safeway's Lucerne eggs, Albertsons, and Ralphs.

Shoppers ABC7 spoke with had mixed reactions to the voluntary recall.

"I'll be buying eggs, but I may not buy that brand," says Ted Sanchez from San Jose.

"I'll probably stop eating them until I hear more about it," says Michael Urban from Campbell.

"I just buy eggs and I saw the news, but I didn't give it much thought about it," says Fiona Ton from San Jose.

"It's kind of a scary thought, but I will definitely look when I buy eggs," says Nick Mathers from Santa Clara.

The main thing consumers should be looking for are the plant numbers. They're found on the edge of the package, starting with the letter "P." If the numbers 1026, 1413, or 1946 are on the carton, return them immediately.

Health officials say consumers don't have to worry. The stores will allow people to return the eggs if they're a part of the contaminated batches.

The most common symptoms of salmonella are diarrhea, abdominal cramps and fever within eight hours to 72 hours of eating a contaminated product. It can be life-threatening, especially to those with weakened immune systems.

Which eggs are being recalled?

Eggs are packaged under the following brand names:

    Lucerne
    Albertson
    Mountain Dairy
    Ralph's
    Boomsma's
    Sunshine
    Hillandale
    Trafficanda
    Farm Fresh
    Shoreland
    Lund
    Dutch Farms
    Kemps
Eggs are packed in varying sizes of cartons (6-egg cartons, dozen egg cartons, 18-egg cartons) with Julian dates ranging from 136 to 225 and plant numbers 1026, 1413 and 1946. Dates and codes can be found stamped on the end of the egg carton. The plant number begins with the letter P and then the number. The Julian date follows the plant number, for example: P-1946 223.

Symptoms of Salmonella Enteritidis: click here

The Associated Press contributed to this report


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