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article imageOrganic shell eggs recalled due to Salmonella

By Leigh Goessl     Oct 24, 2011 in Food
Owatonna - The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) and the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) are currently investigating illnesses connected with organic shell eggs that originated from a Minnesota farm.
According to an Oct. 19 U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) release, the MDA has detected and traced the presence of Salmonella Enteritidis to Larry Schultz Organic Farm of Owatonna; the existence of the bacteria was confirmed through environmental testing.
The FDA reports Larry Schultz Organic Farm is cooperating with the investigation of the health officials and has issued a voluntary recall of the egg products determined by health officials to be affected.
At least six people have become ill due to the bacteria in the organic eggs. The illnesses occurred between Aug. 12 and Sept. 24. Of the six, three people were hospitalized, but have since recovered. Of the people afflicted with Salmonella sickness, five had eaten eggs originating from Larry Schultz Organic Farm.
Three states are currently affected by this recall - Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan. Eggs were distributed from the farm to grocery stores, food wholesalers and restaurants under various brand names. Listed brands are Lunds & Byerly’s Organic, Kowalski’s Organic, and Larry Schultz Organic Farm; eggs were sold in quantities of 6-egg cartons, dozen egg cartons, and 18-egg cartons.
A full listing of brands and their expiration dates can be found on the FDA website.
The FDA emphasized that any cartons bearing the mark of "Plant Number 0630" a "Sell by" date are excluded from this recall (this should not be confused with "EXP" dates as these organic eggs are affected). Consumers can obtain a full listing of which grocery stores carried the affected eggs on the Minnesota Department of Health website.
Any consumers who have purchased cartons of recalled eggs should return them to the store where they were purchased for a full refund.
At this time the recall appears to be limited, unlike last year's massive egg recall in which over a half-billion eggs were recalled in a totally separate incidence with a different farm. In that recall, Digital Journal reported the problem was linked to unsanitary conditions, tainted chicken feed and several other violations and was very widespread.
Health officials are warning the public to be sure to cook eggs thoroughly to destroy any potential bacteria that might be present.
According to the USDA's Economic Research Service, the annual economic cost of salmonellosis, the illness caused by Salmonella, was $2,708,292,046 in 2010. This estimate is based on all cases of salmonellosis, not just foodborne cases. In 2008 the amount was estimated at $2,646,750,437, and in 2000 was $2,081,172,626.
More about organic eggs, recalled eggs, Salmonella contamination, Larry Schultz Organic Farm
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