More than 200 million tainted eggs have spread salmonella across the nation.
Americans have been so busy worrying about a blanket ban on romaine lettuce during one of the nation's worst E. coli outbreaks—and how their grocery stores are handling it—that news of an equally as large recall of eggs may have slipped shopper's minds.
Nearly a month ago, more than 200 million eggs were recalled from mega-producer Rose Acre Farms, and those eggs were yanked from shelves at Walmart, Target, Publix, and Food Lion.
Now, 35 people across nine states have been identified as victims of salmonella poisoning from those contaminated eggs: Eleven of these individuals landed in the hospital from complications, but there are yet to be any deaths reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
While the recalled eggs have "best by" dates of April 2 and April 3, cases have been popping up since the first recall notice—and the outbreak has even affected shoppers in Europe. A full list of every brand affected by the recall can be found on the Food and Drug Administration's official announcement right here. But anyone who has purchased eggs from Walmart's Great Value brand or Target's Crystal Farms brand, or other in-store varieties such as Sunshine Farms, Coburn Farms, and Country Daybreak, should double check their cartons.
Using laboratory evidence, the CDC was able to trace the outbreak to the white-shell eggs produced by Rose Acre Farms in their Indiana facilities. It's unclear as to why their eggs led to the slow but gradual spread of salmonella in the first place, but a Rose Acre Farms representative told The Daily Meal that they "apologize" to those who have fallen ill.
"Rose Acre Farms takes food safety and the welfare of our hens, workers, and consumers very seriously. We vow to do better in the future," the representative said.
Salmonella is a particularly worrisome infection for the young and the elderly, and can be contracted through uncooked meat, contaminated water, raw milk, fresh produce, and raw eggs. More often than not, salmonella poisoning is treated easily with lots of fluids and a few days' rest time. But the CDC says that the disease affects those with weakened immune systems differently, and more than 450 individuals die from salmonella sickness every year.
We're hoping that the case count for this particular outbreak is as high as it'll ever be, as the shelf life for these eggs have long expired. For more information on salmonella and other forms of potentially deadly food poisoning, click here.