Salmonella identified in poultry farm selling up to 1% of Israeli supply

The Health Ministry said that salmonella is a common bacteria which Israel makes efforts to minimize.

September 5, 2017 18:31
2 minute read.
Farn fresh

eggs in hand 521. (photo credit: Ron Tarver/Philadelphia Inquirer/MCT)

Dangerous Salmonella enteritidis bacteria have been found in eggs at a poultry farm in Israel.

The Health Ministry has called on the public to put all suspected eggs – stamped with the name “Yesh Meof” and having an expiration date up to and including October 20 – into the garbage and not return them to the sellers.

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An unknown number of people have taken sick from the bacteria, the Health Ministry said. The egg-sorting station was closed after lab tests were received and will remain so until the ministries give permission to resume operations.

The number of eggs suspected of being infected is less than 1% of the total number of eggs marketed in Israel. Reports, however, suggest that as many as 11 million eggs may eventually be included in the recall.

The Health Ministry said that salmonella is a common bacteria which Israel makes efforts to minimize. The prevalence of salmonella in Israeli egg-laying hens is less than 3%, lower than that in Europe and the US.

A person infected with Salmonella enteritidis bacteria usually develops fever, abdominal cramps and diarrhea beginning 12 to 72 hours after consuming contaminated food or beverages. The illness usually lasts four to seven days. Most victims recover without antibiotic treatment, however, the diarrhea can be severe and the person may become ill enough to require hospitalization. The bacteria are especially dangerous to babies, the elderly and people with weak immune systems.

The ministry reiterated its advice to cook eggs completely, as heat destroys pathogens. Avoid eating raw or soft-boiled eggs and store eggs in the refrigerator.

Eggs must be stamped with the name of the marketer, the size of the egg, the last date of marketing and the last date for consumption. Purchase eggs only from places where they are kept under proper conditions.

It is recommended that you store the eggs in the refrigerator in their original packaging. Do not use broken, chipped or dirty eggs. Do not separate the yolks and whites by transferring them between the two halves of the shell, as this may contaminate the contents of the egg. It is better to buy a small tool that does this easily. Do not wash eggs, especially before they are placed in the refrigerator, since washing them destroys the natural protective coating, allowing bacteria to pass into the egg.

Be sure to throw the eggshells to the trash immediately after breaking the egg and do not leave them on the work surface, since the bacteria can pass from the egg shell to the work surface.

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