As many as 200 million eggs have been voluntarily recalled by Rose Acre Farms due to fears that they may have been contaminated with salmonella. The recall, which spans across 9 separate states, including Colorado, Florida, New York, New Jersey, North Carolina, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia, comes after at least 22 illnesses were reported according to the FDA. Affected brands include Crystal Farms, Country Daybreak, Coburn Farms, Sunshine Farms and Glenview, and can be identified by the plant number P-1065 and have a Julian date range of 011 through to 102 which can be found printed on the carton. If you happen to have eggs that are a part of this recall, the FDA says you should either stop using them and throw them away, or return them to the point of purchase to receive a full refund.
While Canadians are not directly impacted by this particular recall, salmonella still affects thousands of Canadians each year, so it’s still important to be aware of the impact in which it can have on your health.
First, you’re probably wondering what salmonella actually is. It’s a type of bacterial infection that typically affects the intestinal tract but can also sometimes affect the bloodstream. Along with eggs, salmonella poisoning is also commonly linked to raw or undercooked meat (such as beef and pork), poultry, and even water, as well as the mishandling of foods such as fruits and vegetables (for example, food handlers not washing their hands thoroughly.) Salmonella can also be spread through contact with infected animals such as livestock, birds, reptiles, amphibians, cats and dogs, as well as gerbils, hamsters and other small rodents. While salmonella can affect anyone, those most at risk include children under the age of 5, adults over the age of 60, as well as women who are pregnant and individuals with weakened immune systems.
While some people with salmonella poisoning may not get sick at all, common symptoms include those that are flu-like such as chills, fever, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and sudden headache. Typically these symptoms will develop anywhere from 6 to 72 hours after exposure, and will diminish after 4 to 7 days. In cases where the salmonella poisoning is more severe or an at-risk person becomes infected with salmonella, these symptoms may persist longer than usual and may require hospitalization. As severe dehydration can occur as a result of salmonella, it’s important to keep yourself replenished by drinking plenty of fluids to avoid that from happening.
When it comes to actually diagnosing salmonella, this is usually done through blood or stool testing at a lab – something a family physician like Dr. Ali Ghahary can refer a patient for. When it comes to treating salmonella, most patients will recover on their own without any kind of medical intervention. However, things like Tylenol and anti-emetic medications may help reduce things like fever and nausea. If dehydration becomes an issue, patients may require fluids, which is often given intravenously.
The best way to prevent salmonella is to wash your hands frequently and do so often. It’s also a good idea to follow general food safety practices, including washing fruits and vegetables as well as keeping cooked foods separate from those that are raw/uncooked. This will not only help you prevent salmonella, but will also decrease your risk of developing other foodborne illnesses.