eggsAn egg recall that began last Friday was expanded yesterday. It now covers 380 million eggs.

The eggs are packaged under the brand names Lucerne, Albertsons, Mountain Dairy, Ralph’s, Boomsma’s, Sunshine, Hillandale, Trafficanda, Farm Fresh, Shoreland, Lund, Kemps, James Farms, Glenview, Pacific Coast and Dutch Farms.  Dutch Farms has stated that the eggs were packaged under the Dutch Farms name without permission..

The recalled eggs come in cartons of  half-dozen, dozen, and a dozen and a half.  They were also distributed loose for repackaging and institutional use.

To identify the recalled eggs, look at the end of the carton for plant numbers P-1026, P-1413, P-1720, P-1942 or P-1946, followed by date codes  ranging from 136 to 229.  The FDA has posted an example of what you will see on the end of the carton.  Consumers are instructed to immediately return the recalled eggs to the store for a refund.

The eggs are being recalled due to an outbreak of Salmonella that started in May, 2010, sickening hundreds of people since that time.  A nationwide disease database tracked the rise of Salmonella poisoning from an average of 50 a week to more than 200 per week during May, June and July.

Investigators tracked the illness to a Galt, Iowa, company named Wright County Egg.  It’s owner,  Jack DeCoster, has a history of issues with regulators over unsafe working conditions, environmental regulation violations, the hiring of illegal immigrants, and the harassment of workers.

Salmonella is transferred to eggs by infected chickens.  Eggs containing the Salmonella bacteria  appear normal.  The bacteria are destroyed by cooking, but people who consume raw or undercooked eggs can become sick. 

Salmonella can cause stomach aches, diarrhea, and vomiting.  Young, elderly, or patients with compromised immune systems can have serious or even fatal reactions.