The NSW Food Authority are encouraging people to check eggs in their kitchens for a “BEC” or “BEC115” stamp, as they may well be contaminated resulting in salmonella egg poisoning.
Dr Lisa Szabo, NSW Food Authority CEO said the eggs with BEC or BEC115 on their shells should be thrown away. The stamp will appear on the actual egg shell not the carton.
The affected eggs weren’t sold in dozen cartons at grocers, rather in catering cartons.
“All other eggs are safe to eat, provided people exercise the usual caution required for a special care food like eggs such as washing your hands and avoiding raw egg products particularly if you are a vulnerable population such as the immune compromised, under two or over 70 years of age or pregnant,” Dr Szabo said.
“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.”
The business in question that is said to have sold the eggs received a Prohibition Order back in January by the NSW Food Authority while they were investigating the possible Salmonella contamination.
“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,” Dr Szabo said.
So far this year, there’s been 412 cases of Salmonella infection in NSW alone, according to NSW Health data, which is similar to the number notified during January in recent years. Children under 5 years of age account for most cases notified this month, although all age groups are affected.
Symptom and treatment
Symptoms of Salmonella poisoning include a headache, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, fever, vomiting and nausea. They will start anywhere between 6-72 hours after the food has been consumed and can last between four and seven days (but can last much longer).
Further information about how to reduce your food safety risk when consuming eggs can be found at www.foodauthority.nsw.gov.au/eggs