Five people have been hospitalised following potential salmonella (Salmonella Enteriditis) microbial contamination from ‘Bridgewater Poultry Eggs’.
Foods Standard Australia New Zealand has recalled eggs from Bridgewater Poultry (Loddon Valley Eggs), a farm at Bridgewater, north-west of Melbourne, where strict biosecurity measures have been put in place to protect neighbouring farms.
Dr Sutton said there could be links to an outbreak of the same strain of salmonella in New South Wales earlier this year.
The following eggs with use by dates between 20 March and 29 April 2019 have been recalled and should not be consumed but returned to the place of purchase.
- Woolworths 12 Cage Free Eggs 700g (barcode 9300633636982);
- Victorian Fresh Barn Laid Eggs 600g;
- Victorian Fresh Barn Laid Eggs 700g;
- Victorian Fresh Barn Laid Eggs 800g and
- Loddon Valley Barn Laid 600g (This product in VIC and SA only).
The eggs are sold at Coles, Woolworths, IGA and other independent retailers.
“The health and safety of consumers is are of the highest priority and Bridgewater Poultry Farm is working with the relevant government health and agricultural departments to investigate this incident at our site that may have been introduced through the purchase of interstate eggs.
“This investigation is continuing.
“As a precaution, the farm has been quarantined and strict measures to protect neighbouring farms are in place,” a spokesperson said.
Salmonella Enteritidis (SE) is not endemic in Australia so it is important to work through how this incident has arisen.
Victoria’s Department of Health and Human Services said it had identified five cases of illness linked to the salmonella enteritidis strain, which prompted the “very big recall”.
“There’ll be hundreds of thousands of eggs involved, hundreds of thousands of laying hens are involved,” Victoria’s chief health officer Brett Sutton said.
Unlike other strains, where dirty shells contaminate the egg once cracked, the enteritidis strain infects the egg before the shell has formed, raising the risk of infection if the egg is not fully cooked.
Dr Sutton said it was a strain not normally found in Victoria and likened it to an exotic pest such as the cane toad.
Consumers concerned about their health should seek medical advice and customers who have purchased the eggs should not consume them and return them to the place of purchase for a refund.