August 19, 2010
Consumers, food preparers reminded to cook eggs thoroughly
The Department of State Health Services is advising consumers not to eat
Wright County Eggs because they may be contaminated with Salmonella
Enteritidis, bacteria that may cause serious health problems.
On Aug. 13 Wright County Egg company issued a voluntary recall on eggs from
its facility in Galt, Iowa. Wright County eggs are shipped to Texas by way of
one or more intermediary distributors. Wright County Eggs are packaged under various brand names. A complete list can be found at the FDA website: www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/.
DSHS and local health departments are collaborating with the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention, the US Food and Drug Administration and public
health officials in many states to investigate Salmonella Enteritidis
infections, a foodborne diarrheal illness. Some of these cases may be associated
with Wright County Egg Company that distributes eggs nationally.
Since mid-May there have been more than 150 Salmonella Enteritidis
infections in more than 40 counties throughout the state. Investigation is
ongoing to determine if Wright County Egg products are linked to the illnesses.
DSHS and local health departments are working to identify specific retailers
that may sell Wright County Farm eggs. No Texas farm produced eggs have been
implicated in this outbreak.
Consumers who believe they may have purchased the recalled shell eggs should
not eat them and should discard the eggs. Restaurants should use pasteurized
eggs in recipes where the egg may not be cooked thoroughly such as Hollandaise
sauce or Caesar salad dressing.
A person infected with Salmonella Enteritidis usually has fever,
abdominal cramps, and diarrhea beginning 12 to 72 hours after consuming a
contaminated food or beverage and lasting 4 to 7 days. In the elderly, infants,
and those with impaired immune systems more serious illness or even death may
A consumer’s best protection against Salmonellosis is safe food handling and
cooking. People can reduce the risk of Salmonella Enteritidis infection
from eggs by doing the following:
- Eggs should be cooked until both the white and the yolk are firm and eaten
promptly after cooking.
- Keep eggs refrigerated at ≤ 45˚ F (≤7˚ C) at all times.
- Discard cracked or dirty eggs.
- Eat eggs promptly after cooking. Do not keep eggs warm or at room
temperature for more than 2 hours.
- Avoid restaurant dishes made with raw or undercooked, unpasteurized eggs.
Restaurants should use pasteurized eggs in any recipe (such as Hollandaise sauce
or Caesar salad dressing) that calls for raw eggs.
- If you are not sure about a menu item, ask your server if includes raw or
undercooked unpasteurized eggs.
- Consumption of raw or undercooked eggs should be avoided, especially by
young children, elderly persons, and person with weakened immune systems or
debilitating illness. Pasteurized eggs should be used.
Other ways to avoid Salmonellosisfrom eggs include:
- Keep raw eggs, meat, poultry, and seafood separate from other foods.
- Use a different cutting board for meat, poultry, and seafood items, if
- Wash hands, cutting boards, dishes, utensils, and counter tops with hot,
soapy water after contact with raw eggs, meat, poultry, or seafood.
- Do not place cooked food on a plate that held raw meat, poultry, or
(News Media Contact: Christine Mann, DSHS
Assistant Press Officer, 512-458-7511)
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