The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) and the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) are investigating illnesses in at least six people in Minnesota that are connected with a recall of organic shell eggs due to contamination with Salmonella Enteritidis. The contaminated eggs were traced back by the MDA to Larry Schultz Organic Farm of Owatonna, where environmental testing confirmed the presence of Salmonella Enteritidis. Larry Schultz Organic Farm is cooperating with the MDA investigation and has issued a voluntary recall of the products.
Routine reportable disease monitoring by state health officials identified six cases of Salmonella Enteritidis infection with the same DNA fingerprint. The individuals became ill between August 12 and September 24. The illnesses occurred in both children and adults, and all are residents of the seven-county metropolitan area. Three of the cases were hospitalized but have since recovered. Five of the six cases have reported eating eggs from the Larry Schultz Organic Farm purchased at grocery stores or co-ops.
Eggs affected by this recall were distributed to restaurants, grocery stores, food wholesalers and foodservice companies in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan.
Eggs from Larry Schultz Organic Farm are packaged under the following brand names: Lunds & Byerly’s Organic, Kowalski’s Organic, and Larry Schultz Organic Farm. Eggs are packed in bulk and varying sizes of cartons (6-egg cartons, dozen egg cartons, 18-egg cartons). Full product descriptions and a list of grocery stores where these products were sold can be found at www.mda.state.mn.us. Cartons bearing Plant Number 0630 or a “Sell by” date are not included in this recall.
To prevent illness, it is important for consumers to cook eggs thoroughly before eating in order to destroy any Salmonella or other bacteria. Consumers who believe they may have purchased these shell eggs should not eat them but should return them to the store where they were purchased for a full refund.
Salmonella is an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in very young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Healthy people infected with Salmonella often experience diarrhea, fever, and abdominal pain. Anyone who believes they may have become ill with Salmonella should contact their health care provider.