Egg recall may affect Fargo areaCook thoroughly to avoid salmonella
A sweeping recall of an Iowa company’s eggs has Fargo-Moorhead health officials on alert.
By: Mila Koumpilova, The Forum
FARGO - A sweeping recall of an Iowa company’s eggs has local health officials on alert.
There’s no evidence that the suspect eggs have made their way to the Fargo-Moorhead area, even as they apparently sickened seven diners at two Minnesota restaurants. That state is among eight affected by the recall. Health officials can’t rule out the presence of the eggs locally. But with a little caution, area residents shouldn’t need to lay off favorite egg dishes.
“Eggs that are cooked thoroughly are perfectly safe,” said Kathy Anderson of Clay County Public Health. “We shouldn’t eat raw or undercooked eggs, meat or poultry, period.”
The Wright County Egg company out of Galt, Iowa, is voluntarily recalling some 228 million eggs that might be contaminated with salmonella. Health officials have linked two restaurant outbreaks in Minnesota earlier this summer – in Rochester and in St. Paul – to the eggs.
The brands included in the recall, which only applies to raw shell eggs, are Lucerne, Albertson, Mountain Dairy, Ralph’s, Boomsma’s, Sunshine, Hillandale, Trafficanda, Farm Fresh, Shoreland, Lund, Dutch Farms and Kemps. The affected plant numbers are P-1026, P-1413 and P-1946.
It doesn’t appear major Minnesota grocery chains carry these brands, according to the state Department of Health.
Locally, Hornbacher’s mainly carries eggs from the Lake Park, Minn., based Mendelson Egg Co., said President Matt Leiseth. Cashwise also doesn’t offer any of the affected brands, said Steve Gottwalt, a spokesman.
Moorhead customers appear to be taking news of the recall in stride.
“Fargo-Moorhead is a pretty logical area,” Leiseth said. “We don’t rush to hysteria right away.”
Anderson said she is not aware of salmonella infections linked to the recall locally.
Still, “There’s definitely a possibility the eggs might be in northwestern Minnesota,” said Joshua Rounds, an epidemiologist with the Department of Health. “We don’t know exactly where they are.”
The state left automated voicemail messages with restaurants and other vendors Tuesday to warn them about the recall and suspect egg batches. Stephanie Basol, Moorhead’s environmental health practitioner in charge of restaurant inspection, is following up.
Of special concern are products such as Hollandaise sauce and Caesar salad dressing, which involve raw eggs. But, Basol said the great majority of restaurants locally and statewide use pasteurized eggs for such products in keeping with stringent food code rules.
Undercooked egg dishes, such as runny scrambles or over-easy eggs, can also cause an infection.
“The main message for consumers is to cook eggs thoroughly,” Rounds said.
For more safety tips, go to www. eggsafety.org.
Symptoms of salmonella, such as diarrhea, nausea and abdominal pain, can set in 12 to 72 hours after exposure. Infections can be serious or fatal in children, the elderly and people with weak immune systems.
“Most people will have relatively mild symptoms and will recover on their own,” said Anderson.
The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead and the Herald are Forum Communications Co. newspapers.