Check your eggs: national food recall

Friday, 22 March, 2019

Check your eggs: national food recall

Eggs produced by Bridgewater Poultry Farm are being recalled across Australia after Salmonella Enteritidis (SE) was detected on the farm.

Five Victorian residents have been identified with Salmonella associated with this recall, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.

The eggs have been sold under the Woolworths, Victorian Fresh Barn Laid Eggs and Loddon Valley Barn Laid brands in Woolworths and independent stores in ACT, NSW, VIC, TAS and Coles in VIC and SA. They had best before dates between 20 March and 29 April 2019.

Bridgewater Poultry Farm has been quarantined and strict measures are in place to protect neighbouring farms, the egg producer said. It is working with the relevant government health and agricultural departments to investigate this incident, which it states “may have been introduced through the purchase of interstate eggs”.

Although the affected brands are no longer for sale, consumers are being encouraged to dispose of recalled eggs in the garbage or return them to the place of purchase for a refund. However, Victoria's Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton recommends eggs are not discarded in the garden or compost and not given to pets or livestock.

"We'd just like people to check and if they do have any of these eggs they should return them or throw them out to avoid any risk of food poisoning," Sutton said.

Symptoms of salmonellosis — which include fever, headache, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting — tend to start around six to 72 hours after consuming the contaminated food and usually last for four to seven days, but can continue for much longer.

SE poses a food safety risk but it is "not endemic in Australia", Bridgewater Poultry Farm said. "Regular SE surveillance is conducted in Australia to ensure early detection, containment and eradication of any outbreak."

Sutton said all other eggs are safe to eat, provided they are thoroughly cooked. "People should avoid raw egg products, particularly if they are vulnerable such as those with compromised immune systems, under two or over 70 years of age or pregnant," he said.

The NSW Food Authority also suggested regularly washing hands to help minimise food safety risks. Anyone with health concerns is advised to contact their medical professional immediately.

More information about the recalled products is available at Food Standards Australia New Zealand.

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