Eggs being recalled for potential salmonella.
Eggs being recalled for potential salmonella.

Warning over Coles and Woolies eggs

Hundreds of thousands of eggs across the country are being recalled amid concerns of salmonella contamination, forcing a major Victorian egg farm to close.  

Five people have been struck down by salmonella, including two who were hospitalised, in cases that are suspected to be linked to eating eggs from Bridgewater Poultry.  

The egg products are sold in Woolworths, Coles and other independent retailers across Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia and Tasmania, but Coles is the least impacted.  

Food Standards Australia New Zealand issued the warning this morning concerning Woolworths 12 Cage Free Eggs 700g, Victorian Fresh Barn Laid Eggs 600g, Victorian Fresh Barn Laid Eggs 700g, Victorian Fresh Barn Laid Eggs 800g, as well as Loddon Valley Barn Laid 600g in Victoria and South Australia only.

Health authorities have urged people with any potentially affected eggs to return them for a refund or bin them and not place them in the compost or garden.  

Bridgewater Poultry has been blocked from operating while authorities investigate the outbreak.  

Victoria's chief health officer Brett Sutton said it was possible hens at the farm would have to be destroyed to eliminate the source of the salmonella contamination.  

The farm, in Bridgewater On Loddon, about 40km northwest of Bendigo, was inspected on Monday by Agriculture Victoria officers and identified as "contaminated".   Further tests carried out on Wednesday prompted the egg recall.  

The farm remains under surveillance and is expected to have further swabbing and testing over the weeks ahead.   Dr Sutton said the strain of salmonella - salmonella enteritidis - was rarely found in Victoria, which made it a particular concern.   "It's like an exotic pest. It's the cane toad of salmonella," he said.   "We've never had an outbreak of this size (in Victoria)."   Dr Sutton said the biggest concern was that it could infect the egg before the shell was formed.   The five cases of ill patients with salmonella enteritidis dates back to January and includes people ranging in age from their 20s to their 80s.   Dr Sutton said there could be more affected patients.   The symptoms included headaches, dehydration, nausea, fever and diarrhoea and in the most severe cases could lead to death.

Shoppers at Coles, Woolworths and independent stores across the country are being warned not to eat Bridgewater Poultry eggs they've recently bought.

Woolworths 12 Cage Free Eggs 700g, Victorian Fresh Barn Laid Eggs 600g, Victorian Fresh Barn Laid Eggs 700g, Victorian Fresh Barn Laid Eggs 800g, as well as Loddon Valley Barn Laid 600g in Victoria and South Australia only have been recalled.

Food Standards Australia New Zealand issued the warning this morning due to potential microbial salmonella contamination.

The products have been available for sale at Woolworths and independent stores in ACT, NSW, VIC, TAS and Coles in VIC and SA.

Food products contaminated with salmonella can cause severe illness if eaten.

Any people concerned about their health should seek medical advice and should return the products to the place of purchase for a full refund.


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