US salmonella scare is one of biggest egg recalls

Washington?: A top US egg producer expanded
its recall to include 380 million chicken eggs that could be
contaminated with salmonella bacteria, in one of the largest
such recalls in recent history.

The eggs were produced by Wright County Egg in Galt,
Iowa, and sold around the country under 13 different brands,
packed in boxes of six, 12 and 18 eggs.

The company on August 13 voluntarily recalled 220 million
eggs from the market after hundreds of reported salmonella
cases. The FDA reported that first recall on Wednesday.

On Thursday, the company expanded its recall to 380
million eggs, saying the number represented one percent of
total US egg production.

It`s "one of the largest eggs recall in recent history,"
said Food and Drug Administration Division (FDA) of Public
Health and Biostatistics director Sherri McGarry.
FDA experts said yesterday in a telephone press
conference they were investigating the origins of a salmonella
outbreak that has spiked to 1,953 cases between May and July
of this year.

Without linking it directly to Wright County Egg, the
administration said the outbreak was more than twice the
normal number of salmonella cases for the period.

The FDA said, however, that infected rodents many have
spread salmonella in Wright chicken farms.

The company said it has decided to pasteurize all its
fresh stocks of eggs to kill off any salmonella bacteria.
Salmonella is spread most often by the consumption of
food contaminated by animal fecal matter, according to health

The microbe usually flourishes within the intestinal
tracts of fowl and mammals.

An estimated 400,000 people are infected with food-borne
salmonella each year in the United States, according to the
Centers for Disease control and Prevention.
The Egg Safety Center has estimated the risk of
salmonella infected eggs at one in 20,000, meaning the US
consumer can be eating eggs for 84 years before
finding a tainted one.


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