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Irish agency warns of risk from Salmonella in duck eggs


The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) has issued a warning about the safety of duck eggs following a recall because of Salmonella.

Meadow Park Eggs recalled duck eggs because of the possible presence of Salmonella earlier this month. 

Meadow Park Free Range Duck Eggs in a pack size of six with best before dates up to and including Aug. 8 are affected.

Irish officials said there was one potentially related illness but further testing was required before a definitive link could be made. They would not say what type of Salmonella was involved.

Duck eggs are used as an alternative to chicken eggs in cooking and baking. The FSAI said they should always be handled and cooked with care. They should not be eaten raw or lightly cooked. A duck egg is heavier and larger than a hen’s and needs more cooking time.

Advice from the agency is for people to only consume duck eggs that have been thoroughly cooked and to avoid using raw duck eggs in dishes that will not be cooked before eating. Maintaining stringent hygiene practices is important when handling raw duck eggs, such as washing hands, utensils, and preparation surfaces after handling or using them.

Other tips include not using raw duck eggs to prepare products that contain raw or lightly cooked eggs, such as homemade mayonnaise, tiramisu, or hollandaise sauce, and storing them in the fridge away from ready-to-eat food.

During the 19 months between August 2009 and February 2011, 34 confirmed cases and one probable case of Salmonella Typhimurium DT8 were detected in Ireland linked to exposure to duck eggs. Salmonella Typhimurium closely related to isolates from patients was identified in 22 commercial and backyard duck flocks.

About Salmonella
Food contaminated with Salmonella bacteria does not usually look, smell, or taste spoiled. Anyone can become sick with a Salmonella infection. Infants, children, seniors, and people with weakened immune systems are at higher risk of serious illness because their immune systems are fragile, according to the CDC.

Anyone who has eaten any recalled products and developed symptoms of Salmonella food poisoning should seek medical attention. Sick people should tell their doctors about the possible exposure to Salmonella bacteria because special tests are necessary to diagnose salmonellosis. Salmonella infection symptoms can mimic other illnesses, frequently leading to misdiagnosis.

Symptoms of Salmonella infection can include diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever within 12 to 72 hours after eating contaminated food. Otherwise, healthy adults are usually sick for four to seven days. In some cases, however, diarrhea may be so severe that patients require hospitalization.

Older adults, children, pregnant women, and people with weakened immune systems, such as cancer patients, are more likely to develop a severe illness and serious, sometimes life-threatening conditions. Some people get infected without getting sick or showing any symptoms. However, they may still spread the infections to others.

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