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Cal Maine Foods Issues Egg Recall after Salmonella Found on Ohio Farm

After several months of massive contamination problems and hundreds of millions of eggs being recalled in the summer of 2010 due to the problematic issues on two Iowa farms, another egg recall has been issued. This latest recall involves 288,000 eggs.

The current egg recall is connected to a farm called Ohio Fresh Eggs, LLC located in Croton, Ohio.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) notified Cal-Maine Foods, Inc., a food distributor that is supplied by Ohio Fresh Eggs, that the farm tested positive for salmonella enteritidis (SE). Cal-Maine had recently purchased the 288,000 eggs from Ohio Fresh Eggs unknowingly that the farm had tested positive for salmonella contamination.

The FDA reports “Cal-Maine purchased approximately 24,000 dozen unprocessed eggs from Ohio Fresh which were processed and re-packaged by the Company’s Green Forest, Arkansas, facility between October 9 and 12, 2010, yet the Company was only notified today [November 5, 2010 about the positive contamination results].”

Once Cal-Maine bought the eggs, they repackaged them and sent to food sellers located in the states of Arkansas, California, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas.

At this time no illnesses associated with these eggs has been reported. However the earlier recalls due to unsanitary conditions at the Iowa farms resulted in expanded recalls, further investigations, Congressional involvement, and over 1,600 individuals falling ill due to salmonella contamination.

The U.S. FDA has listed all the egg products currently in question on its announcement page which outlines the details of the recall. The majority of the egg cartons being recalled have a “Sell by/Expiration Date” stamped between November 7-9 2010. This being the case, it unfortunately means many of the recalled items have likely been purchased and may have already been consumed.

Cal-Maine’s recall is voluntary and the company is reportedly fully cooperating with the FDA; the distributor has also initiated contact with its customers to inform them of the recall because there is a strong potential of salmonella contamination. Unfortunately this recall is not the first for Cal-Maine as the company was also impacted with the expanded Iowa farm recalls.

ABC News reports Cal-Maine Foods as being “the nation’s biggest egg seller and distributor” of fresh shell eggs. The company is headquartered in Jackson, Mississippi.

Fox News reports that Austin “Jack” DeCoster, one of the Iowa facility owners associated with the massive summer egg recall, is a major lender to Ohio Fresh Eggs.

How the fact DeCoster is a large financial backer of the Ohio farm may or may not be related to the problems at Ohio Fresh Eggs remains to be seen. DeCoster has developed someone of a reputation in the industry of having questionable practices when it comes to these types of issues. Fox News states “DeCoster has been dubbed “The Salmonella King” by one advocacy group .”

Consumers are being advised not to consume the affected shell eggs which may be at risk for carrying salmonella and to instead return them to the place of purchase where a full refund can be acquired. Consumers are also being told they can call Cal-Maine’s office at 1-866-276-6299 between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. CDT where any questions or concerns can be answered.