Search This Blog

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Eggs recalled in US - what is salmonella bacteria ?

The spheroid or oval shapped cell laid by different species is in the news for wrong reasons. Perhaps I am not the person to write anything on this – though here is something on eggs which are eaten by mankind for hundreds of years. Perhaps this is also an edible egg.
Can you identify what eggs these are ?
The most common is the chicken eggs – though eggs of other birds are also eaten. Understand that roe and caviar are edible eggs of fish which are also eaten.

Reports state that more than 228 million eggs have been recalled across the United States due to the presence of salmonella bacteria. The outbreak is linked to a farm in Iowa. The news is about Wright County Egg of Galt, Iowa, is expanding its voluntary recall (original recall date: August 13, 2010) of specific Julian dates of shell eggs produced by their farms because they have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella. Eggs affected by the expanded recall were distributed to food wholesalers, distribution centers, foodservice companies and limited retail outlets in California, Arizona, Missouri, Minnesota, Texas, Georgia, Washington, Oregon, Colorado, Nevada, Iowa, Illinois, Utah, Nebraska, Arkansas, Wisconsin and Oklahoma. These companies distribute nationwide. The Press release reads that eggs affected by the expanded recall announcement are packaged under brand names: Albertsons, Farm Fresh, James Farms, Glenview, Mountain Dairy, Ralph’s, Boomsma, Lund, Kemps and Pacific Coast. Eggs are packed in varying sizes of cartons (6-egg cartons, dozen egg cartons, 18-egg cartons, and loose eggs for institutional use and repackaging) with Julian dates ranging from 136 to 229 and plant numbers 1026, 1942 and 1946.
There have been confirmed Salmonella enteritidisillnesses relating to the shell eggs and traceback investigations are ongoing. Consequently the fears of worsening salmonella outbreak has skyrocketed. There are fears that the contaminated eggs could still be in the consumers’ refrigerators. Hundreds have been reported sick and one law suit has already been filed against the supplier - the Wright County Egg Farm in Galt, Iowa.

Salmonella enterocolitis is an infection in the lining of the small intestine caused by Salmonella bacteria and is one of the most common types of food poisoining. It occurs when one eats food or water that is contaminated with the salmonella bacteria. Any food can become contaminated if food preparation conditions and equipment are unsanitary. The strain in question, Salmonella enteritidis, is particularly pernicious because it can affect the inside of an egg. The ovaries of a hen can be contaminated by the bacteria, passing the contaminant along to the whites and yoke of an egg as well as outside the shell. .

First off, there are two major strains of salmonella that effect humans: salmonella enteritis and salmonella typhi. Typhi is associated with typhoid but the present recall is not associated with this. It has to do with salmonella enteritis - enteritis means “inflammation of the intestine.”

For a commoner, what has Salmon the common name for several species of fish to do with the disease is an intriguing question. Salmonidae is family of finned fish including salmon, trout, chars, white fishes and graylings. It is stated that salmons migrate whilst trouts are resident. The disease has nothing to do with this fish
The association is with Daniel Elmer Salmon (1850 – 1914) a Veterinary surgeon, the first DVM degree awardee in US who spent his career studying animal diseases for the US Dept. of Agriculture. The salmonella genus of bacteria was discovered by an assistant of his, who gave his name to the bacteria.

So, if you are in US – avoid eating eggs atleast till the dust settles down - and in case you still want to know whose eggs those were :

Regards – Sampathkumar.