Dozens of people in Los Angeles County have gotten sick after eating tainted eggs and fruit pulp subject to a national recall, the county Department of Public Health warned Tuesday.
Certain eggs from Wright County Egg of Galt, Iowa, marketed under a number of brand names, and frozen tropical fruit pulp from COCO S.A. of Guatemala, distributed by Goya Goods Inc., have been linked to outbreaks of two different strains of Salmonella bacteria.
"Public health is coordinating with state and federal agencies on this issue," said Dr. Jonathan Fielding, the county's top health officer. "(The department) has reached out to food distributors and retailers throughout the county to ensure that these products are removed from vendors' shelves."
Fielding said 266 people in California, including 43 in Los Angeles County, have gotten sick with Salmonella Enteriditis after eating the tainted eggs.
Most people with the illness develop diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps between 12 and 72 hours after infection. The illness typically lasts between four and seven days.
But babies, elderly individuals and those with weakened immune systems are more likely to develop severe illness. Severe infections can be fatal if left untreated with antibiotics.
The egg recall includes product packaged under the following brand names: Lucerne, Albertson, Mountain Dairy, Ralph's, Boomsma's, Sunshine, Hillandale, Trafficanda, Farm Fresh, Shoreland, Lund, Dutch Farms and Kemps.
Varying carton sizes -- six egg, one dozen and 18-egg cartons -- with Julian dates ranging from 136 to 225 and plant numbers 1026, 1413 and 1946 are subject to the recall. The dates and codes can be found stamped on the end of the carton. The plant number, which follows a P, is first, followed by the Julian date.
Consumers are advised to return the eggs to the store of purchase for a full refund.
A second recall relates to mamey, a tropical fruit pulp also called zapote or sapote. The pulp is often added to milkshakes or smoothies and packages have a two to three-year shelf life.
The pulp has been linked to a Salmonella Typhi outbreak that has sickened five people in California, including two in Los Angeles County.
Salmonella Typhi can cause typhoid fever, which can be transmitted person-to-person. People with typhoid fever usually have prolonged fever as high as 103 degrees. They may also feel weak or have stomach pains, headache or loss of appetitite. In some cases, patients have a rash of flat, rose-colored spots. The only way to confirm a diagnosis of typhoid fever is through a blood or stool test.
Antibiotics typically provide relief within two to three days, but without treatment as many as 20 percent of patients may die from complications.
The recalled Goya brand product is a 14-ounce package with UPC number 041331090803. All production lot codes are being recalled.
Consumers are urged to throw the fruit pulp away and contact Goya Foods Inc.'s Consumer Affairs Department at (800) 275-4692.
"If you have purchased eggs or mamey pulp recently, please check your refrigerator and freezer to make sure that you do not have any of the potentially contaminated product," Fielding said.