On any given day, about 1 in 20,000 to 1 in 10,000 eggs are contaminated with the bacteria Salmonella. However, for Rose Acre Farms, the second-largest egg producer in the United States, this is not your average day.
In fact, the company just voluntarily recalled over 2 million eggs because of potential contamination with Salmonella Braenderup bacteria.
Salmonella infection symptoms (fever, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain) can surface as soon as eight hours to a few days after eating the contaminated food. The infection can range from mild to life-threatening in more vulnerable populations.
The recall comes after a multistate outbreak, with 23 people reporting illness in 9 states. There have been six hospitalizations and no deaths. Those states are: Colorado, Florida, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia.
If you are living (or eating eggs) in one of those states, here is what to look for next. Are your eggs sold under the brands, Coburn Farms, Country Daybreak, the Food Lion store brand, Crystal Farms, Great Value and Sunshine Farms? If so, look for the plant number P-1065 and the Julian date range of 011 through 102 printed on the carton or package.
If you happen to have eggs that fit that description, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says that they should not be eaten. You should either throw them away or return them to the store where you bought them and they will issue you a refund.
As an additional precaution, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that you wash and sanitize drawers or shelves in the refrigerator where the recalled eggs were stored. Their website offers tips in cleaning your refrigerator.
The good news is that the company is being aggressive by recalling the eggs, leaving no room for potentially contaminated eggs to slip through. In addition, eggs have a short shelf life, so the risk of infection will be gone quickly.
This outbreak serves as a good reminder to always handle eggs safely, cooking them thoroughly until the white and yolk are firm, and washing hands and all kitchen items that may have contacted raw eggs with soap and water.