Even since the story festered in August, news reports have swarmed with the rising number of egg recalls – now over one-half million eggs – and the increasing number of documented salmonella outbreaks. The CDC estimates that for every reported case of salmonella, there are 37 additional cases that remain unreported. This means that, with nearly 2,000 cases – 1,300 more than normal – of salmonella infections, the true number may actually indicate that 76,000 Americans have been sickened due to the numerous code violations found at the Wright County Egg Farm in Iowa.
Numerous Violations Created Unsanitary Conditions
Federal investigators are still trying to piece together the actual source of the salmonella found on the Iowa egg farm. The puzzle is difficult to put together simply because there are so many pieces. Among the stomach-turning discoveries investigators found are piles of chicken manure that reached up to eight feet, causing the containment door to burst open, and the presence of flies and maggots “too numerous to count.”
For most, Salmonella seems like nothing more than a bothersome infection. In 91 percent of cases, there is diarrhea and fever for a few days. About 8 percent of infections are a little more severe, with victims being ill for up to 12 days. The remaining one percent of salmonella cases require hospitalization, intravenous fluids and may result in death. What most victims don’t realize about the disease is that it can cause symptoms of arthritis for up to a year after the initial infection. Even if a case was mild, individuals should tell their doctors immediately.
At one time, authorities believed that salmonella permeated the shells of eggs. While this still may be true, it is now obvious that the greatest risk for salmonella is infected hens. While not every egg that a diseased hen lays will be infected with salmonella, the risk of a major outbreak like the one seen in August increases with unsanitary conditions.
People with the greatest risk for complications due to salmonella poisoning are young children, those with compromised autoimmune systems, and the elderly. These populations must be especially diligent to avoid contamination.
Return Recalled Eggs
Although the recall began in August, some refrigerators may still have recalled eggs that have not reached their expiration date. To find out if your eggs are recalled look at the plant numbers and the Julian date on the short side of your carton. Plant numbers begin with a P and the Julian date is a three-digit code for the packaging date. Plant numbers P1860, with Julian dates 099 thru 230; P1663, dates 137 thru 230, P1720 & P1942 with dates 136 thru 229; and P1026, 1413, & 1946 with dates 136 thru 225 have all been recalled.
If you think your serious illness may have been caused by the salmonella outbreak and egg recall, contact us. We will help you learn your rights and options with respect to gaining compensation for your injuries.