More Than 200 Million Eggs Recalled After 22 Illnesses
In what is likely the largest such recall of the decade, a North Carolina egg producer is voluntarily recalling a whopping 206 million eggs.
According to the FDA, a North Carolina facility operated by Rose Acre Farms (itself based in Indiana) produced eggs that “have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella Braenderup, an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems.” As a result, Rose Acre is issuing an extremely large recall: nearly 207 million eggs, sold in nine states.
Following 22 cases of Salmonella infections, the FDA managed to trace the source of the bacteria back to a Rose Acre location in Hyde County, North Carolina. DNA testing revealed a particular strain of the bacteria, which caused the illnesses, was also present at the facility, and Rose Acre issued a recall. The specific eggs affected by the recall were sold under several different brand names at various stores, including Walmart, over nine states: Colorado, Florida, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia. Some of the eggs were also purchased by restaurants, including Waffle House. If you think you might have purchased these eggs, check the UPC code on your carton against the list provided by the FDA.
In its release, the FDA made it a point to explain the timeline of events leading to the recall. The FDA has come under fire in recent years for extreme slowness in its reaction to outbreaks; in 2016, the Office of the Inspector General called the FDA’s recall system inadequate in its timeliness. In this particular case, the FDA says it first learned of the Salmonella infections on March 5th, conducted investigations into the Rose Acre farm starting on March 26th, received a confirmation via DNA testing of contamination on April 11th, and the recall was initiated on April 13th. This is a noted improvement from past recalls, which have sometimes taken many months to go from confirmation of contamination to a recall.
If you do have any of the affected eggs, either throw them out or see if you can get a refund from wherever you purchased them. Salmonella is no fun at all.