The Gravel Ridge Farms egg Salmonella outbreak sickened 44 people in 11 states before it ended today. Most of the people sickened in this outbreak ate eggs at a restaurant before they became ill. Twelve of them got so sick they were hospitalized.
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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced today that the outbreak, which was announced September 10, 2018 appears to be over. Health officials used genetic “fingerprint” tests to identify patients included in this outbreak. During interviews with outbreak investigators, most patients reported eating eggs from a restaurant before they became ill.
Investigators then used restaurant records to identify the supplier of the eggs. This “traceback investigation” identified Gravel Ridge Farms in Cullman, Alabama as the source. Tests on environmental swabs taken from the facility in Cullman were positive for the outbreak strain of Salmonella Enteritidis.
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Salmonella Egg Recall and Outbreak
Gravel Ridge issued a recall for some eggs on September 6, 2018. The recall included eggs packaged in single dozen cardboard cartons and 2.5 dozen cardboard flats with the UPC 7-06970-38444-6 and “use by” dates from July 25, 2018, through October 31, 2018.
Symptoms of a Salmonella infection include abdominal cramps, diarrhea, and fever. Usually, these symptoms develop within six to 72 hours of exposure and last about a week. Patients must be hospitalized when dehydration becomes severe. Salmonella infections can be life-threatening if the infection travels from the intestinal tract to the bloodstream.
Case-patients in this outbreak reported onset-of-illness dates ranging from May 17, 2018, to August 26, 2018. They range in age from one year to 94 years old, with a median age of 32. Sixty percent of them are female.
Tennessee reported the highest number of cases, 25. The case counts for all states involved in this outbreak were as follows. AL (7), CO (1), GA (1), IA (1), KY (1), MD (1), OH (4), MT (1), NY (1), TN (25) and TX (1).