More than 1,000 people have reportedly become ill from eggs contaminated with salmonella. On Friday, August 20, Hillandale Farms in Iowa said it was recalling over 170 million eggs.
The recall by Hillandale Farms is for any eggs that were distributed as Hillandale Farms, Sunny Farms, Sunny Meadow, Wholesome Foods and West Creek, from April, 2010 to August, 2010.
The recall of eggs involves 13 brand names sent to grocery distribution centers, food service companies and wholesalers in Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, South Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wisconsin.
Watch for egg cartons holding six, 12 and 18 eggs,with batch numbers 1026, 1413 and 1946, and that have date codes going from 136 to 225.
Wright County Egg is another farm in Iowa that just days earlier had issued a recall of 380 million eggs.
Wright County Egg is owned by Austin "Jack" DeCoster, who in 1994 was found guilty by the state of Iowa of several environmental violations. In 1996, more violations were found at Decoster's farm in Turner, Maine.
In 2000 Iowa named DeCoster a "habitual violator" of environmental regulations. In 2002, DeCoster Farms was found guilty in an employment discrimination lawsuit for Mexican women who had been sexually harassed and abused.
The FDA is investigating into whether or not the two egg recalls are connected. Both involve the same strain of bacteria, salmonella enteritidis.
Both farms used some of the same suppliers of chickens and chicken feed. Quality Egg LLC is one of those suppliers which is owned by the DeCoster family.
An expert in food safety at Cornell University says that the salmonella outbreak could be the result of rodents, hens infected with salmonella, or contaminated chicken feed.
This form of salmonella is inside the egg itself, not just on the shell. Thorough cooking will kill the bacteria, but the CDC cautions people to throw the eggs out or return them for refund.
Reports of nearly 2,000 cases of salmonella poisoning have been linked to the two recalls from May to July.