The number of reported illnesses linked to an Indiana egg producer's voluntarily recall of more than 206 million eggs over possible salmonella contamination has climbed to 35.
In an update issued late last week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it is being reported that last month's recall from Rose Acre Farms has claimed 12 new victims since the last update on April 16.
Among the 35 cases are 11 hospitalizations. The cases have been reported in Colorado, Florida, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia. The eggs came from a Rose Acre facility in Hyde County, N.C.
The update also explains that more cases could be on the way.
"Illnesses that occurred after March 23, 2018, might not yet be reported due to the time it takes between when a person becomes ill with Salmonella and when the illness is reported. This takes an average of two to four weeks," said the CDC statement.
In its initial statement posted April 13 on the Food and Drug Administration website, Rose Acre Farms officials said 206,749,248 eggs were pulled from shelves because they may be contaminated with Salmonella Braenderup. The recalled eggs were sold outside of Indiana.
The Seymour-based company describes the contamination as "an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people and others with weakened immune systems."
The company statement says the farm produces 2.3 million eggs a day. The facility includes 3 million laying hens with a USDA inspector on-site daily.
The recall involves eggs with the plant number P-1065, with the Julian date range of 011 through 102 printed on either side of the carton or package. For Publix and Sunups egg cartons, the plant number is P-1359D and the Julian date is 048A or 049A with best by dates of APR 02 and APR 03.
The eggs were sold under the brand names Country Daybreak; Crystal Farms; Coburn Farms; Sunshine Farms; Publix; Sunups; Glenview; Great Value; as well as at Walmart and Food Lion stores.
The egg recall is the largest in the United States since 2010, when 500 million eggs from an Iowa producer were recalled, and nearly 2,000 illnesses caused by salmonella were reported.
Consumers who have purchased the eggs are urged to immediately discontinue use of the recalled eggs and to return them to the place of purchase for a full refund.
"State and local health officials continue to interview ill people to ask about the foods they ate and other exposures they had before they became ill. Twenty-two of 25 people interviewed reported eating shell eggs. Sixteen reported eating various egg dishes at different restaurants," said the DCD statement. "This percentage is significantly higher than results from a survey of healthy people in which (38 percent) of respondents reported eating any eggs away from home in the week before they were interviewed. These restaurants reported using shell eggs in the dishes eaten by ill people."
In a U.S. Food and Drug Administration report released following the outbreak announcement, inspectors say they found dozens of rodents and poor worker hygiene at a North Carolina chicken farm operated Rose Acre.
The report said inspectors spent March 26 to April 11 at the Rose Acre Farms egg operation in Pantego, N.C. and found "unacceptable rodent activity" and dirty equipment. They also noted employees touching dirty floors, equipment and their bodies without washing their hands.
In an emailed statement, Seymour-based Rose Acre Farms said the inspection report "is based on raw observations and in some cases lack proper context."