Officials: Illnesses Linked to Eggs May Increase

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The salmonella outbreak which has sickened at least 2,000 people and triggered a massive egg recall will likely increase, according to federal health officials.

An estimated 380 million salmonella-tainted eggs from a Wright County egg farm in Iowa have been pulled off supermarket shelves nationwide and thrown away.

Shoppers are still cautious.

"Because we eat a lot of eggs, I want to make sure we don't get sick from them," said Laurie Yeganeh.

The recall includes eggs packaged under 13 brands and are distributed across the country. Health officials expect to learn about more Americans becoming sick from the eggs as illnesses occuring late July have been reported.

Symptoms of salmonella poisoning are common, so some people may not even know they are infected by the bacteria.

"You're going to probably have some kind of abdominal cramps that start it off. You're probably going to have a fever, and you're probably going to have severe diarrhea," said Brian Hanft, an Iowa health official.

No deaths have been reported, but salmonella can be life-threatening, especially for people with weak immune systems.

The outbreak originates from eggs of salmonella-infected hens. They carry the bacteria in their ovaries and pass it to their eggs as they're being formed.

"The birds themselves aren't sick, so the farmer doesn't even know what's going on," said Dr. Christopher Braden of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "And in the meantime, it's producing eggs that look clean and fine."

Tainted eggs should not be eaten. They need to be thrown away or returned to the grocery store for a full refund. Consumers who think they've become ill from eating recalled eggs should contact their doctor.

New federal regulations should prevent similar outbreaks in the future. They require egg producers to do more testing for salmonella.

Food and Drug Administration officials said the new rules could reduce the number of salmonella cases by nearly 60 percent.

For more on salmonella poisoning, visit the Centers for Disease Control Web site.

For more egg safety information, click here or call the Egg Safety Consumer Hotline at 1-866-272-5582.

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CBN News
Jennifer Wishon

Jennifer Wishon

CBN News White House Correspondent

Jennifer Wishon is the White House correspondent for CBN News based in the network’s Washington, D.C. Bureau.  Before taking over the White House beat, Jennifer covered Capitol Hill and other national news, from the economy to the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Follow Jennifer on Twitter @JenniferWishon and "like" her at