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Consumers Check for Recalled Eggs

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Egg Recall - Plant Number & Julian Date

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U.S. consumers are wondering which eggs are safe to eat after a second Iowa company issued a recall of whole, raw eggs linked to a nationwide Salmonella outbreak.

Hillandale Farms in New Hampton issued a recall of eggs from two of its plants on Aug. 20, saying there have been laboratory-confirmed illnesses associated with the eggs. The announcement comes just two days after Wright County Egg in Galt expanded its Aug. 13 recall to a total of 380 million eggs.

Food and Drug Administration (FDA) experts are working with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state officials to find the source of contamination. In the meantime, FDA officials are warning the public not to use or eat eggs from the lots that are being recalled.

Examine Your Eggs

Here’s what you should look for on the carton of eggs in your refrigerator:

  • Plant numbers — the four-digit plant number can be found on the short side of the carton. The numbers are preceded by the letter P (see graphic).
  • Julian date — eggs are packaged with the Julian date on the short side of the carton after the plant number (see graphic). The Julian date tells what day of the year the eggs were packaged without the month, so Jan. 1 is 001, and Dec. 31 is 365.

Hillandale Farms egg cartons affected by the recall will have these numbers:

  • P1860 – Julian dates ranging from 099 to 230
  • P1663 – Julian dates ranging from 137 to 230

The Wright County Farms eggs that are being recalled are:

  • P1720 and P1942 – with Julian dates ranging from 136 to 229
  • P1026, 1413,1946 – with Julian dates ranging from 136 to 225

The companies have identified more than 16 brand names under which the eggs were sold, but that information is incomplete. Some eggs were sold individually rather than in cartons, so they could be repackaged under other brands.

Eggs affected by the recall have been shipped since May 16 to grocery distribution sites, retail grocery stores, food wholesalers, distribution centers, and food service companies nationwide.

If you have recalled eggs, throw them away or return them to the retailer for a refund. If you are unsure about the source of your eggs, throw them away.

About Salmonella

Because of the size of the recall, consumers are wondering how they can tell if they or someone they know has been infected with Salmonella.

Healthy persons infected with Salmonella often experience fever, diarrhea (which may be bloody), nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. In rare circumstances, infection with Salmonella can result in the organism getting into the bloodstream and producing more severe illnesses, such as arterial infections (infected aneurysms), endocarditis, and arthritis.

Salmonella can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems.

If you think you might have become ill from eating recalled eggs, consult your health care professional.

This article appears on FDA's Consumer Updates page, which features the latest on all FDA-regulated products.