Salmonella outbreak on East Coast worsens

The CDC reported 12 more cases since the initial announcement

Published May 12, 2018 6:03PM (EDT)


Not all is eggcellent in America's food production this week.

Federal health officials announced news on Friday about a salmonella outbreak which has led to a recall of nearly 207 million eggs. Thirty-five cases have been recorded across nine states, and there have been 11 hospitalizations. Nobody has died from the outbreak, however the number of those affected has increased by a dozen since it was first recorded.

“CDC continues to recommend consumers, restaurants, and retailers should not eat, serve, or sell recalled eggs produced by Rose Acre Farms’ Hyde County farm,” the Friday announcement stated. “Throw them away or return them to the place of purchase for a refund.”

In the initial announcement, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated they traced the outbreak to shell eggs from Rose Acre Farms which is located in North Carolina.

“FDA traced the source of some of the shell eggs supplied to these restaurant locations to Rose Acre Farms’ Hyde County, North Carolina farm,” the initial announcement stated. “FDA investigators inspected the farm and collected samples for testing. Laboratory testing identified the outbreak strain of Salmonella Braenderup in environmental samples taken at the farm.”

An Indiana branch of Rose Acre Farms voluntarily recalled over 200 million eggs, stating that their shell eggs may have been contaminated with Salmonella bacteria as well. The recalled eggs were reportedly sold in Colorado, Florida, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia under various brand names, such as Coburn Farms, Country Daybreak, Crystal Farms, Food Lion, Glenview, Great Value, Nelms, Sunshine Farms, and Publix.

According to a Food and Drug Administration report, inspections of the farm in North Carolina found that the farm might have had a rodent problem. According to the report, inspectors recorded "condensation dripping from the ceiling, pipes, and down walls, onto production equipment." Equipment was reportedly "visibly dirty with accumulated grime and food debris."

Insects flying around the food were observed, too.

“Throughout the inspection we observed at least 25 flying insects throughout the egg processing facility,” the report stated. “The insects were observed landing on food, food contact surfaces, and food production equipment.”

“There were insanitary conditions and poor employee practices observed in the egg processing facility that create an environment that allows for the harborage, proliferation and spread of filth and pathogens throughout the facility that could cause the contamination of egg processing equipment and eggs,” the report added.

According to the CDC, Salmonella causes approximately 1.2 million illnesses and 450 deaths every year. The summer months are usually the most common time for the illness to occur.

By Nicole Karlis

Nicole Karlis is a senior writer at Salon. Tweet her @nicolekarlis.

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Centers For Disease Control And Prevention Fda Rose Acre Farms Salmonella Outbreak