The Missouri Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has stated that they found Salmonella bacteria at an egg facility called the Good Earth Egg Company in Bonne Terre. Testing conducted at the processing facility revealed the presence of the pathogenic bacteria. The facility was closed by DHHS while it is cleaned and while sampling is conducted again. The company states, “trace levels of salmonella were detected in an area of its processing facility. There was no recall of Good Earth Egg Company products.”
If you purchased eggs from this company, you can throw them away in a sealed or double bagged container, or return them to the place of purchase if you’d like. Wash your hands thoroughly after handling these eggs, since there could be Salmonella bacteria on the shell and on the inside.
If you choose to keep the eggs, you must cook them to a temperature of 165°F as tested with a reliable food thermometer. That’s the temperature that will kill any Salmonella bacteria that may be present, is standard food safety advice. You will also need to be very careful to avoid cross-contamination between the eggs and utensils, surfaces, cooking equipment, and any foods that are eaten raw.
The symptoms of a Salmonella infection include vomiting, diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps. They usually occur six to seventy-two hours after exposure to the bacteria. The illness usually lasts about a week, and most people recover on their own. Some people, however, become so ill they must be hospitalized.
Those who are at higher risk for serious illness include children, the elderly, those with compromised immune systems, and people with chronic health problems. Salmonella can spread person-to-person, so if anyone in your family is ill, especially with a diarrheal illness, they should be isolated. Wash your hands well after caring for them, and do not let them serve or prepare food for others.
If you have eaten these eggs and have experienced the symptoms of Salmonella food poisoning, see your doctor. This is a reportable illness, so the health department will be contacted. Further testing will be required to see if any illnesses are linked to the closed facility.