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Salmonella outbreak prompts 380M egg recall

August 20, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
An Iowa egg producer is recalling 380 million eggs nationwide over concerns they may be contaminated with salmonella.The eggs were produced by Wright County Egg of Galt, Iowa. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the farm's eggs were linked to several illnesses in Colorado, California and Minnesota.

Health officials said the tainted eggs have sickened at least 266 people in California and seven in Minnesota. More than 50 people have gotten sick in Los Angeles County alone.

Initially, 228 million eggs were recalled but that number was increased. It's now about the equivalent of 32 million dozen egg cartons.

In Pasadena on Wednesday, customers remained on alert.

"It does make me nervous," said Cora Kaneko on a shopping trip. "That's why I haven't eaten them."

The young, elderly and those with weakened immune systems are at the greatest risk of complications. No deaths have been reported so far, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"People who get sick from this type of illness will generally experience stomach cramps, fever and diarrhea, "said Angelo Bellomo of the L.A. County Department of Public Health. "If they seek medical attention and are treated, they'll recover from this."

Authorities said symptoms usually appear between 12 and 72 hours after infection.

Consumers are advised to return the eggs to the store of purchase for a full refund or throw them away.

"I heard on TV about the salmonella," said Sumi Hughes who was grocery shopping Wednesday. "My husband is in the food business so he scrutinizes everything I buy. I saw that sign and I said well I guess it's safe here."

Hughes was referring to a sign posted near a rack of eggs warning consumers of the recall.

The Food and Drug Administration is investigating the tainted eggs.

In a statement, company officials said the FDA is "on-site to review records and inspect our barns." The officials said they began the recall Aug. 13.

They are packaged under the following brand names:

  • Lucerne
  • Albertsons
  • Mountain Dairy
  • Ralphs
  • Boomsma's
  • Sunshine
  • Hillandale
  • Trafficanda
  • Farm Fresh
  • Shoreland
  • Lund
  • Dutch Farms
  • Kemps

The eggs were sold in cartons of six, 12 and 18. Consumers who bought the brands should inspect the cartons for stamp numbers 1026, 1413, 1946, 1720, 1942, 1951, 1686, 1091.

A second stamp, which should be next to the first stamp, is a three-digit number that ranges from 136 to 225.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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