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Recall of the Week: Massive egg recall due to possible Salmonella contamination – Be sure to check your eggs

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More than a half billion shell eggs have now been recalled, with a second Iowa firm announcing on Friday the recall of 170 million eggs after tests confirmed the presence of Salmonella.

Eggs affected by the Hillandale Farms recall were distributed to grocery stores and foodservice companies which service or are located in 14 states including Arkansas, California, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Texas, and Wisconsin.

The eggs, in various-size cartons and cases, are distributed under the following brand names: Hillandale Farms, Sunny Farms, and Sunny Meadow.

The recall involves eggs with plant numbers P1860 or P1663 and Julian dates as follows:

P1860 – Julian dates ranging from 099 to 230

P1663 – Julian dates ranging from 137 to 230

On Aug 13, Wright County Egg, of Galt, Iowa, recalled 228 million eggs due to possible Salmonella contamination. On Aug. 19, the firm recalled an additional 152 million eggs.

The brands included in the first Wright County Egg recall are Albertsons, Farm Fresh, James Farms, Glenview, Mountain Dairy, Ralphs, Boomsma, Lund, Kemps, and Pacific Coast.

Involved in the second Wright Company Egg recall are the following brands: Lucerne, Albertson, Mountain Dairy, Ralph's, Boomsma's, Sunshine, Hillandale, Trafficanda, Farm Fresh, Shoreland, Lund, Dutch Farms, and Kemps.

The Egg Center, a trade group, offers this information on how to check your eggs:

Dates and codes can be found stamped on the end of the egg carton or printed on the case label. However, not all affected brands will be printed in the same order. Typically, the plant number begins with the letter P and then the number. In most cases, the Julian date follows the plant number, for example: P-1720 223.

If your carton has a combination of numbers that matches the affected plant number AND Julian date, your eggs are affected in the recall. Using the example above, P-1720 223 may appear on some cartons as 223 #1720, 1720 223, or other variations. It is important to note that both the plant number and Julian date must match.

Check the Egg Center’s website for a listing of the plant and Julian numbers in all the recent egg recalls.

Consumers who find that they've purchased recalled eggs should return to the store for a refund.

Since May 2010, a four-fold increase in the number of cases of Salmonella Enteritidis infections has occurred.

See the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s "Salmonella" and "Playing It Safe With Eggs: What Consumers Need to Know" for information on the symptoms of Salmonella infection and how to properly handle and store eggs.

Copyright 2010, Rita R. Robison, Consumer Specialist

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