companies in Minnesota, Michigan and Wisconsin.
Siobhan DeLancey, press officer with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said that the month between the time of diagnosed cases until the recall was announced on Oct. 19 was likely spent on testing and identifying the strain of salmonella and having epidemiologists in Minnesota trace the cases back to the Larry Schultz Organic Farm.
State officials pinpointed the strain of salmonella in six individuals between Aug. 12 and Sept. 24 before sourcing the eggs from the farm. Kirk Smith, supervisor of the Minnesota foodborne diseases unit, said that for every reported, diagnosed case of salmonella, there are about 29 that go unreported, putting Minnesota’s probable total for salmonella cases connected to this egg recall somewhere between 150 and 200.
The public health infrastructure and our ability to investigate and prevent outbreaks “has really been eroding for 5-10 years because of financial struggles,” said Smith. “There are probably outbreaks like this that happen all the time that we can’t detect.”
Smith wasn’t able to comment on whether or not all recalled eggs were removed from the stream of commerce as of this week, and calls to other MDH departments were not returned by the time of publication.
Minnesota could see more cases of salmonella connected to this recall, since the pathogen can exist inside a chicken’s ovaries and be transferred into the eggs we eat, meaning proper cooking is extremely important for safe food prep.
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