- The source of Salmonella in a recent egg recall might be chicken feed supplied to chickens at two farming establishments – Wright County Egg and Hillandale Farms.
- The feed samples tested positive for Salmonella, with the DNA footprint matching the outbreak’s pattern, indicating these farms could be the origins of the contaminated eggs.
- However, experts are uncertain about the specifics of the contamination. Ongoing investigations will further explore the origins and possible external sources of the contamination.
- Following the outbreak, 2,403 salmonella cases have been reported, with 1,470 potentially linked to the current outbreak, leading to a recall of 550 million eggs.
- Salmonella symptoms include fever, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea; it poses a significant risk to individuals with weaker immune systems such as young children and the elderly.
The source of salmonella bacteria in a recent egg recall incident may be due to chicken feed, according to an investigation conducted by U.S. health researchers. The investigators identified positive salmonella samples in the feeds supplied to chickens at two farming establishments.
Bacteria-positive feed samples were identified at the Wright County Egg and Hillandale Farms in Iowa, implying that the salmonella bacteria spread might be traced back to the feed or its ingredients. These findings were disclosed by government experts during an official media brief.
“These are the first set of positive samples we believe are significant. The DNA fingerprint [of the samples] matches the outbreak fingerprint,” commented Sherri McGarry, emergency coordinator at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition.
“This discovery of the matching DNA footprint in the feed suggests that Wright County Farms and Hillandale Farms could likely be the origin of the contaminated eggs. However, the source of contamination might not be restricted only to the feed and its ingredients,” added McGarry.
Officials have ascertained that the issue is currently limited to these two establishments.
Experts are uncertain about the specifics—how, when, or where the feed contamination might have occurred. Exploring this constitutes a significant aspect of the ongoing investigation.
“Answering these queries raises additional questions, forming an integral part of our ongoing investigation,” observed Dr. Jeff Farrar, Associate Commissioner for Food Protection at the FDA’s Office of Foods. “During poultry operations, some feed ingredients are ordinarily sourced from outside the farm. We intend to pursue this lead back to its origin.”
Present State of the Outbreak and Recall
According to Dr. Christopher R. Braden, Acting Director of the Division Foodborne, Waterborne and Environmental Diseases, National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, a total of 2,403 salmonella cases have been reported between May 1 and August 25. Out of these, 1,470 may potentially be associated with the current outbreak. He anticipates more illness reports and additional sub-recalls in the near future.
Following reports of nearly 2,000 people being affected by salmonella, Wright County Egg and Hillandale Farms initiated the egg recall earlier. In addition, two new egg brands linked to the two Iowa farms have been included in the recent recall. Subsequently, 550 million eggs have been recalled to date, as confirmed by government officials. It is important to note that all recalled eggs are being systematically eliminated from the market.
To determine if your eggs might be affected, review the carton for the “Sell By” date and the two numbers below it. One number represents the plant number, and the other is the packaged date, or Julian date, indicating the day of the year the eggs were packed. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration provides a list of the numbered designations included in the recall.
Effects of Salmonella
In healthy individuals, salmonella can cause symptoms including fever, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea, typically lasting for four to seven days. However, it can result in severe and sometimes life-threatening infections in young children, the elderly, and others with a weak immune system. Foodborne illnesses are most commonly caused by harmful bacteria such as salmonella, state health officials.
For more information about salmonella, you can visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.