Romaine lettuce contaminated with E. coli isn’t the only food to avoid this week. A Salmonella outbreak has led to the recall of 207 million eggs, and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it’s getting worse.
The CDC announced on Thursday that 12 more people have fallen ill from the Salmonella Braenderup outbreak that was discovered in April. Of the 47 people that have been affected, at least 11 people were hospitalized from complications. The CDC links the outbreak to Rose Acre Farms, whose eggs were distributed to restaurants and grocery stores in 9 U.S. states: New York, New Jersey, Colorado, Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia.
The recalled eggs were sold under multiple brand names, including Coburn Farms, Country Daybreak, Food Lion, Glenview, Great Value, Nelms, Publix, Sunshine Farms, and Sunups. To get a refund from Rose Acre farms, check egg cartons for the following numbers: P-1065 (the plant number) and another set of numbers between 011 and 102 (the Julian date), or, for Publix and Sunups egg cartons, plant number P-1359D and Julian date 048A or 049A with Best By dates of April 2 and April 3. Contaminated eggs were also sold to restaurants throughout the nine states, so it’s probably best to not order that Eggs Benedict at brunch, either.
Salmonella is a food-borne bacteria that’s responsible for 1.2 million illnesses and 23,000 hospital visits in the U.S. each year, according to the CDC. Over 80 percent of infections are caused by food contaminated with various strains of Salmonella bacteria, which make people sick by producing toxins that cause pain and inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract. For most people, symptoms subside after four to seven days.
The CDC, public health and regulatory officials in several states, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration are investigating the multistate outbreak and continue to interview ill people to ask about the foods they ate and other exposures they had before they became ill. Of the 25 people interviewed, 22 reported eating shell eggs and 16 reported eating egg dishes at different restaurants. This percentage is significantly higher than results from a CDC survey of healthy people in which 38 percent of respondents reported eating any eggs away from home in the week before they were interviewed.
More cases are expected due to the extent of this recall and the time it takes between when a person becomes ill with Salmonella and when the illness is reported. In the meantime, don’t order eggs from restaurants in any of those nine states.