In recent weeks, an outbreak of Salmonella Enteritidis has sickened hundreds of people across the country and has led to a recall of shell eggs. FDA, CDC and state colleagues have worked hard to review reports of illness, to link these illnesses to eggs, and to trace these eggs to the farms involved.
We have had a team of investigators on two farms in Iowa investigating the problem, and ensuring that contaminated eggs are not shipped. The FDA is monitoring the recall, including conducting audit checks at retail stores, wholesalers, and distributors to make sure the recalled shell eggs are being removed from the market.
To avoid the possibility of foodborne illness, it’s always the case that consumers need to handle eggs safely. That means they need to keep them refrigerated, wash their hands before and after handling, and cook the yolk and egg white thoroughly. It’s also important to wash cooking utensils and food preparation surfaces after handling eggs.
Consumers should go to FoodSafety.gov to check for the list of recalled eggs and to get related egg safety information, including details on how to handle and prepare eggs safely.
Eggs tainted with salmonella look, smell, and taste normal. If you have any question as to whether the eggs in your refrigerator are among those that have been recalled, please either discard them or take them back to the store. Check foodsafety.gov for updates on the recall and tips on what you can do to reduce your risk of salmonella from eggs.
Margaret Hamburg is Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration