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Half a billion eggs have been recalled as the CDC looks into 1,300 salmonella poisoning cases in fourteen states, according to the Associated Press this morning. The bacteria has been tracked back to two Iowa farms, Wright County Egg and Hillandale Farms.
As officials scramble to find out where the outbreak originated, the newswire reported that Jewanna Porter, a spokeswoman for the egg industry, said Saturday the company Quality Egg supplies young chickens and feed to both Wright County Egg and Hillandale Farms. The two companies share other suppliers as well, which are being investigated.
Nation’s Restaurant News reported Sunday that franchise restaurant chains IHOP and Smashburger replaced their eggs. The food journal reports, “By Friday, the breakfast-heavy IHOP chain said it had identified and replaced all the recalled eggs among its 1,466 restaurants.” Four of Smashburger’s 74 locations replaced their eggs with an alternative egg sources. The chain, which is affiliated with Rick Schaden, CEO of Quiznos, offers a hamburger with a fried egg topping as well as chopped hard boiled eggs on a salad.
The USDA and FDA are taking considerable heat over this outbreak for their inability to monitor the food chain, to prevent contamination and to quickly stop its spread to fourteen states: Arkansas, California, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Texas, and Wisconsin. NRN reports that the diseased eggs were packaged under the following brand names: Albertson’s, Farm Fresh, James Farms, Glenview, Mountain Dairy, Ralph’s, Boomsma’s, Lund, Kemps and Pacific Coast. AP adds Sunny Meadows, Sunny Farms and Hillandale Farms.
The chief of the Food and Drug Administration said in another Associated Press article released two hours ago that the agency is largely limited to react on food safety. She argued that Congress should pass pending legislation that would provide her agency with more beef, not only in better monitoring of food suppliers but also including new authority over imported food.
Symptoms of the illness are diarhea, abdominal pain and fever.