Urgent warning over possible Salmonella contamination in eggs

The NSW Food Authority has issued an urgent warning about the potential of Salmonella contamination in some eggs. Source: Getty

Australians are being urged to check their eggs with fears some could be contaminated with harmful Salmonella bacteria.

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The NSW Food Authority issued an urgent warning on Friday afternoon, calling on people to check their eggs for identifying stamps BEC or BEC115. These markings would be found on individual eggs and not on the carton itself.

The government agency assured Aussies that eggs with other markings are completely safe to eat, as long as usual safety measures are taken such as washing hands and avoiding raw egg products.

“We typically see a rise in Salmonella during the warmer summer months, so this is an opportune time to remind people to practice good hygiene generally when preparing food and to always keep their hands, surfaces and utensils clean and dry before and after handling eggs,” NSW Food Authority CEO Dr Lisa Szabo said.

“It is important to know that not all eggs are impacted but if you have any stamped with BEC or BEC115 we recommend as a precaution that you discard them.”

According to the NSW Health data there were 412 reported cases of Salmonella infection throughout January this year, which is similar to the number notified during January in recent years.

Although the NSW Food Authority placed a prohibition order on the business that produces the eggs earlier in January, preventing them from selling eggs, there are concerns some of the contaminated eggs could still be out there.

“While it is likely that most affected eggs are no longer in the supply chain, it is possible that people may have purchased them earlier and still have some at home in the fridge or pantry,” Szabo explained.

“We’d just like people to check and if they do have any eggs stamped BEC or BEC115 to throw them out to avoid any risk of food poisoning.”

Those that have been exposed to salmonella usually start to see symptoms around six to 72 hours after the contaminated food has been eaten and usually last for four to seven days but can continue for much longer. These symptoms include fever, headache, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting.

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If you have immediate health concerns contact your medical professional in the first instance.

Do you have any eggs with these markings? Have you ever been exposed to Salmonella?