Nearly 207 million eggs have been recalled for fear of a salmonella outbreak, the federal Food and Drug Administration announced last week. It’s the largest egg recall in the U.S. since 2010, but salmonella contamination is a risk we should be mindful of every day.
How to tell if your eggs have been affected by the current outbreak
The affected eggs came from a farm in Hyde County, North Carolina, and were recalled by producer Rose Acre Farms of Seymore, Indiana. They have reportedly reached consumers in Colorado, Florida, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia through stores and restaurants.
According to USA Today, the eggs were sold under the brand names Coburn Farms, Country Daybreak, Crystal Farms, Glenview, Great Value and Sunshine Farms, and were also sold at Walmart and Food Lion stores.
The labeling on your carton can help identify at-risk eggs: Avoid cartons stamped with the plant number “P-1065” and with the Julian date range of “011” through “102” printed on either side of the carton or package.
How to handle eggs safely at home
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers tips for handling eggs that should help you avoid foodborne illness.
Salmonella is a bacteria that can be present on the inside of affected eggs, so if you eat your eggs raw or undercooked, you’re at risk of food poisoning. You should be careful handling the eggshells, too, as poultry droppings can affect the outside of the eggs.
Here’s what the CDC recommends, even if your eggs aren’t linked to an outbreak:
- Buy pasteurized eggs and egg products when possible.
- Keep eggs refrigerated at all times.
- Discard cracked or dirty eggs.
- Sorry, but no runny eggs. To avoid risk of salmonella contamination, make sure your eggs are cooked until both the yolk and white are firm. Egg dishes should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit or hotter.
- As always, never eat eggs, or foods made with eggs, that have been sitting out at room temperature for more than two hours.
- Always wash your hands and any cooking tools that come into contact with raw eggs ― including countertops and cutting boards ― with soap and water.
Now that you’re armed with this information, go forth and eat with caution.