States affected by egg recall grow to 23

Aug 25, 2010 (CIDRAP News) – Agriculture officials in Michigan said yesterday that eggs connected to the national Salmonella-related recall have been distributed in the state, though it wasn't mentioned in recall notices by the two Iowa companies at the center of the investigation, Wright County Egg and Hillandale Farms.

The Michigan Department of Agriculture said in a statement that an ongoing traceback investigation has revealed that some of the companies' customers are distributors and wholesalers that sold the eggs to Michigan customers.

Michigan's announcement raises the number of states affected by the recall to 23, according to a review of company recall notices. The two companies have recalled about 500 million eggs. Four smaller companies that repackaged and resold the eggs from the two companies have also issued recalls.

State officials said they are working with federal investigators to determine where the Michigan eggs were sold and will conduct recall effectiveness checks to ensure that affected products are removed from store shelves.

In other developments, millions of eggs still being produced each day at the two companies are being pasteurized and can be sold as liquid eggs or added to other products such as ice cream, the Canadian Press (CP) reported today. Julie DeYoung, a spokeswoman for Hillandale Farms, told the CP that its chickens are producing about 2 million eggs a day.

The companies told the CP that they are waiting to hear from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) before deciding what to do with the flocks. The FDA cannot order the companies to cull flocks that may be infected with Salmonella, but companies may decide to do so on their own.

Meanwhile, new details emerged today about early clues that led California health officials to suspect an egg link to Salmonella Enteritidis case clusters. Michael Sicilia, a spokesman for the California Department of Public Health, told CNN that more than 30 people who attended a prom and graduation party in Santa Clara County got sick, and some of them were hospitalized.

A case control study found that many had eaten custard-filled profiterole pastries that were served at both the prom and the party. The company that catered the event ran out of pasteurized filler and made the rest of the filling with shell eggs, CNN reported. Tests on the eggs revealed Salmonella, and investigators sent an electronic alert to a national health official network.

Sicilia told CNN that clusters related to the outbreak and recall were also identified in San Diego County at a Korean restaurant and in Los Angeles County on a movie set.

In new recall developments, Wright County Egg said in a statement today that it is adding one more brand to its recall, Cardenas Markets, whose brand of eggs were distributed to Cardenas Market stores in California and Nevada. Though the brand wasn't named in Wright County Egg's original recall, the stores were notified at the time of the recall and the products were removed from store shelves and quarantined, returned, or destroyed.

See also:

Aug 24 Michigan Department of Agriculture statement

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