Egg recall reaches Michigan, but no cases yet of salmonella poisoning
Where do you get your eggs?
Grocers and restaurant staff could be hearing that question more frequently now that the state Department of Agriculture announced eggs included in the Food and Drug Administration's national recall have reached Michigan.
The egg recall news was enough to prompt Dexter resident Jen Stevenson to make a special trip the People’s Food Co-op in Ann Arbor to purchase two dozen eggs she knows for certain came from a farm in Michigan.
But Ann Arbor resident Gail Hubbard said she was unconcerned and would continue to buy her eggs from a local Kroger.
Food and Drug Administration photo
“They’re good about posting recalls,” Hubbard said.
The FDA issued a national egg recall on Aug. 13 after investigating why cases of Salmonella enteritidis illnesses increased four-fold since May. The cause of the infections was traced to two Iowa egg producers. The recall was expanded on Aug. 18 and again on Aug. 20.
No cases of salmonella poisoning connected to the egg recall have yet been reported in Michigan, according to Washtenaw County health department officials.
That hasn’t stopped customers at The Broken Egg from frequently inquiring about the recall, restaurant manager Carol Hopp said. The restaurant's egg supplier, Gordon Food Service, doesn't get its eggs from the Iowa farms identified by the FDA.
“A lot of people are inquiring,” she said. But Hopp added that in her seven years at the restaurant, national recalls don’t seem to prompt customers to change their eating habits. That is, until the someone from Washtenaw County gets sick.
According to state officials, it’s a possibility.
"This is a fluid, changing process as the investigation is ongoing. Federal, state, and local investigators follow the chain of evidence to identify the various channels of distribution," Don Koivisto, MDA director, said in a news release. “The best advice I can give is be an informed consumer - ask where eggs are purchased and always cook your eggs well. And, always, the best rule of thumb is when in doubt, throw it out."
Salmonella infections could still turn up, officials say.
“No Michigan cases have been linked to the outbreak, but that could certainly change because it takes time to test for salmonella,” said Kristen Schweighoefer, the environmental health supervisor for the Washtenaw County Public Health Department.
Schweighoefer’s department is responsible for licensing and inspecting Washtenaw County restaurant and food service establishments, while the Michigan Department of Agriculture inspects grocery and convenient stores and processing plants.
According to the FDA, healthy people infected with salmonella often experience fever, diarrhea which could possibly be bloody, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. If the organism reaches the bloodstream, it can produce severe illnesses such as arterial infections, endocarditis and arthritis. Salmonella can cause serious infections and even death in children, the frail and elderly and those with compromised immune systems.
What to do about the eggs in your fridge
Schweighoefer said consumers should check to see what egg brands are in their fridges. After noting the plant number and Julian date, consumers should cross check that information with an FDA chart that contains a list of all eggs impacted by the recall.
Useful egg recall websites
Detailed instructions are found here.
According to the recall, the following brands are affected:
Lucerne, Albertson, Mountain Dairy, Ralph’s, Boomsma’s, Sunshine, Hillandale, Trafficanda, Farm Fresh, Shoreland, Lund, Dutch Farms and Kemps.
If both the plant number and Julian date are listed on the chart, then the eggs are part of the recall and should be thrown out. A Julian date is a system of time used by the scientific community.
Juliana Keeping is a health and environment reporter for AnnArbor.com. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or 734-623-2528. Follow Juliana Keeping on Twitter
Wed, Aug 25, 2010 : 9:54 p.m.
well just buy your eggs from one of our fine washtenaw county farmers.You can get them at most local farmers markets and right at some farms.Of course it takes a little more motivation than buying at supermarkets but your supporting the local economy and you know where they came from.These people work hard and its their life so they want to be sure your happy.Theres one on Zeeb just south of Jackson Ave.Its nice to get fresh eggs
Wed, Aug 25, 2010 : 6:35 p.m.
I can't believe evey single report I have seen totally ignores the plain and simple fact that this is the culmination of Ronnie Reagan's dream. Deregulation. Best govt is no govt. The free market will correct all evils. Really? Except the poison they sell! "The food we feed our children is the cause of their disease". 192 "small business, family farms" own 95% of the egg laying hens. "Wolf" indeed. Can we cut their taxes more?? Please????
Wed, Aug 25, 2010 : 6:10 p.m.
I guess it would be too much to expect the reporter to let us know if any of the eggs were sold in Washtenaw county! I thought the system allowed for easy tracking of where the eggs went! It seems this is just another case of crying wolf with no evidence there is a wolf in our county!
Wed, Aug 25, 2010 : 3:44 p.m.
The plant numbers answer that question. I noticed Kroger's has a sign taped over the egg area saying they do not purchase their eggs from the affected plants. I checked anyway, but the plant numbers don't match. You'll notice there aren't that many plants affected and there is a lot of rebranding covered, as the same plants appear over and over. As for the Julian date, you can pretty much ignore it for now (I wouldn't trust an affected plant for a long time). The dates in question are mostly current, and go back all the way to eggs that would have a sell-by date in May. If you have eggs in your fridge with a sell-by in May, you're probably not all that worried about salmonella.
Wed, Aug 25, 2010 : 2:49 p.m.
So, the website gives us brand names. Do stores repackage eggs into their own store brands? Sure would be nice if you at least hinted that they may/may not have been distributed by stores here. Or not. Or that stores don't repackage eggs into their own store brand packages so it's only the brand names on the website that are a problem. I've been to the website a couple times, but it seems in the past you've said something more. Thanks for any more info.