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Do I have contaminated eggs in my refrigerator? continued...

Hillandale Farms egg cartons affected by the recall will have these numbers:

  • P1860 – Julian dates ranging from 099 to 230
  • P1663 – Julian dates ranging from 137 to 230

The Wright County Farms eggs that are being recalled are:

  • P1720 and P1942 – with Julian dates ranging from 136 to 229
  • P1026, 1413,1946 – with Julian dates ranging from 136 to 225

The companies have identified more than 16 brand names under which the eggs were sold, but that information is incomplete. Some eggs were sold individually rather than in cartons, so they could be repackaged under other brands.

Eggs affected by the recall have been shipped since May 16 to grocery distribution sites, retail grocery stores, food wholesalers, distribution centers, and food service companies nationwide.

If you have recalled eggs, throw them away or return them to the retailer for a refund. If you are unsure about the source of your eggs, throw them away.

How do eggs get contaminated with salmonella?

It once was thought that salmonella on the surface of eggs penetrated the shell and infected the egg contents. That's possible, so it's a good idea to wash your hands after touching eggs. But it's now becoming clear that a hen infected with salmonella can carry the bacteria in its ovaries and oviducts. The eggs become infected with salmonella as they are forming, and carry the bacteria inside their shells.

Interestingly, the site of contamination is usually -- but not always -- the egg white.

Not every hen at the same farm carries salmonella, and not every egg laid by an infected hen carries the bug.

Hens get salmonella mainly from germs carried by flies and from eating the excrement of rodents that get into their feed. New FDA regulations -- which ironically went into effect on July 9, well after the current salmonella outbreak began -- are expected to cut the number of salmonella-carrying eggs by 60%.

Meanwhile, thorough cooking kills salmonella. Cooking an egg until both the egg white and egg yolk are solid will kill salmonella in the egg.

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