Food

FDA Investigates Outbreak of Salmonella Oranienburg Linked to Shell Eggs

November 14, 2016

On this page:

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Missouri state and local officials investigated Salmonella illnesses linked to shell eggs distributed by Good Earth Egg Company.

Update: November 14, 2016

On November 9, 2016, the CDC announced that the outbreak appears to be over. Good Earth Egg remains closed per closure order from the state of Missouri, and they are no longer shipping eggs to customers.

Fast Facts

  • Following discussions with the FDA, Good Earth Egg Company initiated a recall of all shell eggs on October 3, 2016. Various sizes of shell eggs are packaged in the following ways: 6-count cartons, 10-count cartons, 12-count cartons, 18-count cartons, 15 dozen cases, and 30 dozen cases. The dates and codes on the cartons and cases will include everything prior to and including date code 252 – Sell By 10/08/2016, with “Packed for” or “Produced for Good Earth Egg Company.”
  • Consumers should not eat recalled eggs distributed by Good Earth Egg Company. They should return them to the place of purchase for a refund or dispose of them immediately. Consumers should ask the restaurant or retailer where their shell eggs came from to make sure they do not eat recalled shell eggs from Good Earth Egg Company. Consumers should always practice safe food handling and preparation measures.
  • CDC reports that eight illnesses in three states have been linked to eggs distributed by Good Earth Egg Company.   

What is the Problem and What is Being Done About It?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and Missouri state and local officials are investigating Salmonella Oranienburg illnesses linked to shell eggs distributed by Good Earth Egg Company LLC.

Environmental samples taken at Good Earth Egg Company by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services during a recent FDA-assisted inspection tested positive for the strain of Salmonella Oranienburg found in ill people.

CDC reports eight illnesses in Illinois, Kansas and Missouri that have been linked to eggs distributed by Good Earth Egg Company.

2016 Outbreak Investigation

In August 2016, CDC notified the FDA of eight clinical cases that were closely related genetically to the 2015 outbreak strain of Salmonella Oranienburg. Salmonella isolates from ill people in 2016 and from eggs supplied to a restaurant where three ill individuals ate were closely genetically related by whole genome sequencing (WGS) to the Salmonella Oranienburg strain found at Good Earth Egg Company’s facility in 2015. The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, assisted by the FDA, inspected Good Earth Egg Company in September 2016 and found additional environmental samples from the company were a PFGE match to the Salmonella strain found in people who reported illness in 2015 and 2016.

Missouri state partners issued a second close order to Good Earth Egg Company. The order will remain in effect until the cause for illness is removed and satisfactory environmental samples are collected.

2015 Outbreak Investigation 

The outbreak strain of Salmonella Oranienburg is closely related genetically to a strain found in an outbreak of 52 Salmonella Oranienburg infections in 2015. In late 2015, Missouri state and local health officials linked Salmonella Oranienburg illnesses to eating eggs at restaurant locations in the Missouri area. Traceback of the eggs supplied to these restaurant locations identified the Good Earth Egg Company LLC as the supplier. On December 21, 2015, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services ordered Good Earth Egg Company to cease operations following Salmonella findings in its facility, and to remain closed until remediation efforts and resampling of the facility occurred. Good Earth Egg Company reopened two days later after new samples returned negative for Salmonella. On December 28, 2015, pulse-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) analysis of environmental samples collected at the Good Earth Egg processing facility and henhouses by the FDA and state partners during a December 2015 inspection identified the outbreak strain of Salmonella Oranienburg, and Good Earth Egg Company recalled all of its shell eggs. 

The FDA issued a Warning Letter to Good Earth Egg Company in February 2016 following its December inspection, citing multiple violations, including failing to comply with the FDA’s Egg Safety Rule.  

What are the Symptoms of Salmonella Infection?  

Most people infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps. The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days, and most people recover without treatment. 

How Soon After Exposure do Symptoms Appear?

Most people infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps 12 to 72 hours after infection.

What are the Complications of Salmonella Infections?

In some people, the diarrhea may be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized. In these patients, the Salmonella infection may spread from the intestines to the blood stream, and then to other body sites and can cause death unless the person is treated promptly with antibiotics.

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 people. Children younger than five, the elderly, and those people with weakened immune systems are more likely to have severe infections. 

What Specific Products were Recalled?

Good Earth Egg Company has recalled all shell eggs. Various sizes of shell eggs are packaged in the following ways: 6-count cartons, 10-count cartons, 12-count cartons, 18-count cartons, 15 dozen cases, and 30 dozen cases. The dates and codes on the cartons and cases will include everything prior to and including date code 252 – Sell By 10/08/2016, with “Packed for” or “Produced for Good Earth Egg Company.”

What Do Restaurants and Retailers Need To Do?

Retailers, restaurants, and other food service operators who have served any potentially contaminated eggs need to be concerned about cross contamination of cutting surfaces and utensils through contact with the potentially contaminated products. They should follow the steps below:

  • Wash and sanitize display cases and refrigerators where potentially contaminated products were stored.
  • Wash and sanitize cutting boards, surfaces, and utensils used to prepare, serve, or store potentially contaminated products.
  • Wash hands with hot water and soap following the cleaning and sanitation process.
  • Regular frequent cleaning and sanitizing of food contact surfaces and utensils used in food preparation may help to minimize the likelihood of cross-contamination.

What Do Consumers Need To Do?

Consumers should not eat recalled eggs distributed by Good Earth Egg Company. They should return them to the place of purchase for a refund or dispose of them immediately. Consumers should always practice safe food handling and preparation measures. Wash hands, utensils, and surfaces with hot, soapy water before and after handling food. Consumers should ask the restaurant or retailer where their shell eggs came from to make sure they do not eat recalled shell eggs from Good Earth Egg Company.

For refrigerators and other food preparation surfaces and food cutting utensils that may have come in contact with the potentially contaminated eggs, it is very important that the consumers thoroughly clean these areas and items.

Consumers should follow these simple steps: 

  • Wash the inside walls and shelves of the refrigerator, cutting boards and countertops; then sanitize them with a solution of one tablespoon of chlorine bleach to one gallon of hot water; dry with a clean cloth or paper towel that has not been previously used.
  • Wash hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds before and after handling food. 
  • Wipe up spills in the refrigerator immediately and clean the refrigerator regularly. 
  • Always wash hands with warm water and soap following the cleaning and sanitization process.  
  • Persons who think they might have become ill from eating potentially contaminated eggs should consult their health care provider. 

Who Should be Contacted?

People who think they might have become ill from eating possibly contaminated shell eggs should talk to their health care providers. Contact your healthcare provider if you have diarrhea that lasts for more than 3 days, or is accompanied by high fever, blood in the stool, or so much vomiting that you cannot keep liquids down and you pass very little urine.

The FDA encourages consumers with questions about food safety to call 1-888-SAFEFOOD Monday through Friday between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Eastern time, or to consult the fda.gov website: http://www.fda.gov.  

Additional Information

 

Page Last Updated: 11/14/2016
Note: If you need help accessing information in different file formats, see Instructions for Downloading Viewers and Players.
Language Assistance Available: Español | 繁體中文 | Tiếng Việt | 한국어 | Tagalog | Русский | العربية | Kreyòl Ayisyen | Français | Polski | Português | Italiano | Deutsch | 日本語 | فارسی | English