Food

FDA Investigated Multistate Outbreak of Salmonella Enteritidis Linked to Shell Eggs from Gravel Ridge Farms

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state and local partners, investigated a multi-state outbreak of Salmonella Enteritidis illnesses linked to shell eggs.

Update – October 25, 2018

As of October 25, 2018, there are 44 illnesses associated with shell eggs from Gravel Ridge Farms, in Cullman Alabama. The CDC has announced that this outbreak appears to be over.

Recommendations

The FDA advises consumers not to eat recalled shell eggs produced by Gravel Ridge Farms. Consumers who have purchased these products should discard the eggs or return them to the store for a refund. For a complete list of stores, visit the recall notice.

Consumers should always practice safe food handling and preparation measures. Wash hands, utensils, and surfaces with hot, soapy water before and after handling raw eggs and raw egg-containing foods. Dishes containing eggs should be cooked to 160° F. For recipes that call for eggs that are raw or undercooked when the dish is served use either eggs that have been treated to destroy Salmonella, by pasteurization or another approved method, or pasteurized egg products.

Case Counts

Total Illnesses: 44
Hospitalizations: 12
Deaths: 0 
Last illness onset: August 2, 2018 
States with Cases: AL (7), CO (1), GA (1), IA (1), KY (1), MD (1), OH (4), MT (1), NY (1), TN (25), TX (1)


Who to Contact

Consumers who have symptoms should contact their health care provider to report their symptoms and receive care.

To report a complaint or adverse event (illness or serious allergic reaction), you can

Visit www.fda.gov/fcic for additional consumer and industry assistance.

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What was the Problem and What was Done About It?

  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration worked federal, state, and local officials regarding a Salmonella Enteritidis outbreak linked to shell eggs from Gravel Ridge Farms, in Cullman, Alabama.
  • The FDA collaborated with state partners in conducting a traceback investigation. This traceback investigation identified a firm, Gravel Ridge Farms, as a source of the outbreak.
  • On September 5, 2018, the FDA and Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industry began an inspection at Gravel Ridge Farms and collected environmental and egg samples for laboratory testing. The results were used to confirm that Salmonella Enteritidis isolates collected from environmental and egg samples taken at the farm were genetically related to isolates obtained from ill persons.
  • Twenty-six of 32 (81%) people interviewed reported eating restaurant dishes made with eggs. These restaurants reported using shell eggs in the dishes eaten by ill people.
  • As a result of the outbreak, Gravel Ridge Farms voluntarily recalled cage-free, large eggs and removed the eggs from the shelves at grocery stores, restaurants, and other retail locations.
  • The company has been cooperative and swiftly ceased distribution of the eggs as FDA, local officials, and the company continues their investigation into what caused the problem.

What Products are Recalled?

The following products have been recalled:

ProductSizeUPCUse By Dates
Gravel Ridge Farms
Large Cage Free Eggs
Single Dozen and 2.5 Dozen Flats7-06970-38444-67/25/18 through 10/3/18

What is Salmonella?

Salmonella is a bacteria that makes people sick. The illness people get from a Salmonella infection is called salmonellosis. Most people infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps between 12 and 72 hours after infection. The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days and most people recover without treatment.

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Who is at Risk?

Children are the most likely to get salmonellosis. The rate of diagnosed infections in children less than five years old is higher than the rate in all other persons. Children younger than 5 years of age, the elderly, and those with weakened immune systems are more likely to have severe infections. It is estimated that approximately 400 persons die each year with acute salmonellosis. 

What Do Restaurants and Retailers Need To Do?

Restaurants and retailers should not sell or utilize any recalled shell eggs. Restaurants and retailers should dispose of any of the listed shell eggs by throwing them in the garbage or return them to the place of purchase for credit or refund.

Restaurants and retailers who have served any potentially contaminated or recalled products need to be concerned about cross–contamination of food processing equipment and the food processing environment. They should follow the steps below:

  • Wash and sanitize display cases and refrigerators regularly.
  • Wash and sanitize cutting boards, surfaces, and utensils used to prepare, serve, or store food. 
  • Wash hands with hot water and soap following the cleaning and sanitation process.

What Do Consumers Need To Do?

People should not eat any recalled eggs. If they have any of the listed products, they should throw them in the garbage or return them to the place of purchase for credit or a refund.

  • People who think they might have become ill from eating possibly contaminated eggs should talk to their health care providers.
  • Consumers should always practice safe food handling and preparation measures. Wash hands, utensils, and surfaces with hot, soapy water before and after handling raw eggs and raw egg-containing foods.
    • Cook eggs until both the yolk and the white are firm. Scrambled eggs should not be runny.
    • Casseroles and other dishes containing eggs should be cooked to 160° F. Use a food thermometer to be sure.
    • For recipes that call for eggs that are raw or undercooked when the dish is served – like Caesar salad dressing and homemade ice cream – use either eggs that have been treated to destroy Salmonella, by pasteurization or another approved method, or pasteurized egg products.
  • Thoroughly clean all food preparation surfaces and food cutting utensils that may have come in contact with the potentially contaminated eggs.

Additional Information

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Page Last Updated: 10/26/2018
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