Matthew Newell was sick for about six weeks with salmonella poisoning. The Santa Clara County Public Health Department determined it was an egg based dessert served at a local restaurant over Memorial Day weekend.
"They said it was the dessert. I was really sick. It was really bad. I had a fever and lost almost 25 pounds," he said.
Lab results from people sickened in three states help track the bacteria strain to an egg company in Iowa.
Public health departments interviewed patients looking for a common food culprit which lead to a nationwide recall of 228 million eggs.
"This is routine public health surveillance, and it routine surveillance that picked this up and launched the investigation," Deputy Health Officer Dr. Sara Cody said.
The potentially contaminated eggs are sold under 13 brands including those packaged by Safeway, Albertson's and Ralphs.
All of the recalled products have a four digit number starting with the letter "P." They are 1026, 1413 and 1946. The packaging dates run from May 16 to August 13.
Safeway pulled all of the eggs from store shelves and they were not used in any of the stores other baked goods or food products.
"These eggs for fresh egg sale only so, they were not product in other parts of the store for consumption were not affected by this," Safeway spokesperson Brian Dowling said.
A number of people rushed to grocery stores to see if they indeed have the recalled product. One carton had the plant number, but the packaging date does not fit the recalled eggs.
"She said 'if you want I can keep it, if your uncomfortable I can exchange it and give you money back,' and so I said I am comfortable, so I kept it."
The health department says there are probably many more people out there who didn't get quite as sick as Matthew and whose cases were not reported.
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:
- Mountain Dairy
- Farm Fresh
- Dutch Farms