Over 200 Million Eggs Recalled As More Fall Ill in Salmonella Outbreak

Health officials are investigating an outbreak of Salmonella Braenderup infections linked to shell eggs from Rose Acre Farms’ Hyde County Farm.

Infectious disease outbreaks seem to be springing up left and right in the United States, leaving health officials scrambling to get them under control.

Now, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced that they are in the process of investigating an outbreak of Salmonella Braenderup infections that have been linked to shell eggs in multiple states.

Working in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) along with other state partners, the FDA performed traceback activities to identify a potential source, which officials think to be eggs.

A laboratory analysis conducted on samples collected from Rose Acre Farms’ Hyde County Farm detected the rare strain of Salmonella that had been found in those who had fallen ill . As a result, Rose Acre Farms issued what has been referred to as the largest shell egg recall since 2010—recalling upwards of 200 million eggs.

Rose Acre Farms has identified as the second-largest egg producer in the United States, according to the New York Times, and its farm in Hyde County is comprised of about 3 million hens, which produce roughly 2.3 million eggs on a daily basis. Furthermore, according to the company, an inspector from the United States Department of Agriculture is onsite every day.

“The Hyde County farm has never before experienced a recall or serious safety violation,” the company said in a recent statement, adding that the recall “was conducted in full cooperation with the FDA.”

Even FDA Commission, Scott Gottlieb, MD, has acknowledged the outbreak, sending out a series of tweets on the outbreak and listing the brand names that are currently impacted.

The recalled eggs have been sold under several names—Coburn Farms, County Daybreak, Food Lion, Glenview, Great Value, Nelms, and Sunshine Farms, according to Dr. Gottlieb's tweets this weekend. The recalled products were distributed to the following states: Colorado, Florida, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia through retail stores; however, the FDA noted that they have been sold to restaurants as well.

To date, 23 associated infections have been reported in 9 states, according to the CDC, with New York reporting the highest number of cases (6). Six individuals have required hospitalization.

The FDA is urging the public to avoid eating any of the egg products included in the recall; if any of these products have been purchased, individuals should discard the items or return them to the place of purchase. Restaurants and retailers have been instructed to discard the products as well.

Eggs have been associated with food-borne illnesses in the past, as poultry can carry bacteria that could potentially contaminate the inside of eggs before shells are formed. Poultry dropping can also contaminate eggs. In fact, a past Salmonella outbreak which led to a recall of upwards of 380 million eggs sprung up in 2010, with a total of 1,953 cases reported between May 1 and July 31, according to CNN. The CDC estimates that upwards of 1.2 million Salmonella illnesses and 450 deaths in the United States on an annual basis.

Right now, there are several Salmonella outbreaks hitting the United States. For the most recent case counts and states affected by this outbreak and other the ongoing outbreaks, be sure to visit the Contagion® Outbreak Monitor.

Feature Picture Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention