[Editor's note: The egg recall has spread to a second Iowa egg company, Hillandale Farms, since this story was written. For news on that recall, click here. For an updated list of brand names and plants involved in the egg recall as of Aug. 26, click here.]
The Iowa company responsible for a nationwide egg recall has dramatically expanded it, including new plants and eggs sold through Aug. 17. Federal officials warn they could be contaminated with salmonella.
Even if consumers have already checked their eggs based on the original egg recall list, officials at Wright County Egg suggest looking again. One end of each egg carton is stamped with a number starting with a P (which stands for plant). If the number on your carton is P1720 or P1942, look carefully at the three-digit number that typically follows it.
If that number falls within the range of 136 to 229, the eggs are part of the recall. (The numbers represent dates: The 136th day of the year was May 16; the 229th was Aug. 17.)
The brands included in the new recall are: Albertsons, Farm Fresh, James Farms, Glenview, Mountain Dairy, Ralph’s, Boomsma, Lund, Kemps, and Pacific Coast. [Editor's note: Many readers asked that we add this paragraph.]
If you're checking eggs for the first time, also look for these plant numbers from the original recall: P1026, P1413, and P1946. That recall involved date numbers 136 to 225 (May 16 to Aug. 13). (See the Monitor's original story on the egg recall for more details.)
Company officials urge consumers to take any recalled cartons and eggs back to the store for a full refund.
Wednesday's announcement by Wright County Egg, based in Galt, Iowa, represents a large expansion from the original recall, reportedly involving 380 million eggs, up from 228 million originally. Of course, most of those eggs were consumed long ago. Only shell eggs from Wright are being recalled, not its other products.
"Our primary concern is keeping Salmonella out of the food supply and away from consumers," the company said in its statement Wednesday. "As a precautionary measure, Wright County Egg also has decided to divert its existing inventory of shell eggs from the recalled plants to a breaker, where they will be pasteurized to kill any Salmonella bacteria present."
For more information, consumers can go online to the Egg Safety Center (www.eggsafety.org) or call Wright County’s toll-free information line: 866-272-5582, which contains a message with recall instructions for consumers.