What A Salmonella Outbreak Looks Like To The CDC

The CDC has released a graph that compares the recent salmonella outbreak associated with eggs to the number of cases of the disease that would be expected without an unusual amount of tainted food on the market.

The CDC says that they first identified a nationwide increase in the number of Salmonella Enteritidis cases back in May. They are still doing research to determine how many of the cases are related to the outbreak, because, according to their data there were quite a few “expected” cases of this disease.

Because of the large number of expected cases during this period, standard methods of molecular subtyping alone are not sufficient to determine which reported cases might be outbreak-associated. CDC is currently conducting testing using advanced molecular methodologies to help distinguish between outbreak-related cases and sporadic (or background) cases.

Both the CDC and the FDA are currently looking for the source of the infection, by testing chicken feed among other strategies.

Isn’t science neat? Remember to check your egg cartons for the recall codes, kids.

Investigation Update: Multistate Outbreak of Human Salmonella Enteritidis Infections Associated with Shell Eggs [CDC]


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  1. one swell foop says:

    Ahhhhh! The joys of an industrialized food system!
    Buy local. It may cost a little more, but supporting your local farmers ends up supporting your community and, in the end, your family.

    • babyruthless says:

      I’m doing a little happy dance as all the eggs in my fridge are from my local farmers. I bought them from Esther and Sarah at the Dallas Farmer’s Market.

    • colorisnteverything says:

      Agreed. I buy cage free local eggs and haven’t had this issue!

    • jbandsma says:

      Costs us nothing. One of the drivers my husband dispatches for has chickens and more eggs than his family can use. He gives us a lot. We haven’t bought eggs in almost 2 years. Love it, love it, love it. I wish we could have chickens but my neighbors made me get rid of the goat (who was smaller than my dogs) so I don’t think they’d appreciate the birds.

    • Groanan says:

      So take my chances with my local farmer? How are my chances any better?

      Yes, with the industrialized food system, a tainted batch can effect a lot more people than a tainted batch from my local farmer, but does that mean that I, as an individual, have more to fear?

      I was trained from childhood that eggs likely contained salmonella so I should cook them properly and wash my hands after handling them. On the “they always have salmonella” lie, I was able to make it without salmonella poisoning my entire life (except this one time my brother undercooked chicken).

      Is my local farmer being inspected as much as the larger industrial farmers?

    • shepd says:

      I think I’d rather go with the eggs that go through the thorough inspection process over the eggs that the local farmer just stuffs in a box after he held them up to a 100 Watt light bulb.

      ‘Course, I avoid organic food for the same reason, I like modern pesticides. They’re safer and more effective. I’m also a pasteurized milk zealot who likes to get all the vaccines he can into him, especially since most of the people I work with refuse to.

  2. MepReport says:

    I’m immune to salmonella as I had it when I was 12.

    I’m also immune to wrist fractures from falling out of treehouses.

    Two less things to worry about.

  3. Fantoche_de_Chaussette says:

    We know how to prevent this. Countries like Denmark have brought their egg-borne salmonella rate down to zero. It’s just a matter of frequently testing the chicken flocks for salmonella, and culling any infected flocks.

    In Denmark, farmers are required to do this. In the USA, agribusiness refuses to do this, and their lobbying money buys off any attempt to make them.

    America is not a democracy. It is government by, for, and of the campaign donors.

  4. smo0 says:

    I have to wonder if it looks like this every year… what changes happen during June/July – aside from the heat… or is it the heat mixed with general unsanitary conditions.
    I already have my answers about this from Food Inc….

  5. SabreDC says:

    Salmonella outbreaks look like Virginia?

  6. Conformist138 says:

    I hadn’t felt like eggs in a long time, but recently really had a hankering for an egg on my burger. It was tasty, but that same exact day this whole egg scare came out. Go figure. Luckily, like a majority of people, I had no issues. I usually take my chances with food-recall roulette, never been seriously ill yet. Proper handling and cooking along with a healthy immune system, I can count the number of times I’ve gotten noticeable food poisoning in my life. I understand the people who won’t take chances, I’m just not one of them.

    • shepd says:

      Unless your burger-egg was served as a raw, goopy mess instead of being fried (like normal!), you’re okay. I’m assuming, of course, that for a burger the egg is being served over-easy instead of sunny side up (which carries a small, but still present, risk of salmonella).