FDA Investigating Multistate Outbreak of Salmonella Enteritidis Linked to Shell Eggs from Gravel Ridge Farms

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state and local partners, are investigating a multi-state outbreak of Salmonella Enteritidis illnesses that is linked to shell eggs.

Update - September 10, 2018

As of September 10, 2018, there are 14 illnesses. Gravel Ridge Farms of Cullman, Alabama, has recalled cage-free, large eggs dating back to June 25, 2018.


The FDA is advising consumers not to eat recalled shell eggs produced by Gravel Ridge Farms. Consumers who have purchased these products can return them to the store for a refund. If any consumers have Gravel Ridge Farms eggs in their refrigerator, they should be discarded, regardless of the date stamped on the package. Recalled eggs were also sold to several grocery stores in Alabama, Georgia, and Tennessee. For a complete list of stores, visit the recall notice.

What's the Problem and What's Being Done?

  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is working with federal, state and local officials regarding a Salmonella Enteritidis outbreak linked to shell eggs from Gravel Ridge Farms.
  • The FDA collaborated with state partners in conducting a traceback investigation. This traceback investigation identified a firm, Gravel Ridge Farms, as the potential source of the outbreak.
  • As a result of the outbreak, Gravel Ridge Farms has voluntarily recalled cage-free, large eggs and has removed eggs from the shelves at grocery stores, restaurants, and other retail locations.
  • The company has been cooperative and swiftly ceased distribution of the eggs as FDA, local officials, and the company continue their investigation into what caused the problem.

What Products are Recalled?
The following products have been recalled:

Product Size UPC Use By Dates
Gravel Ridge Farms
Large Cage Free Eggs
Single Dozen and 2.5 Dozen Flats 7-06970-38444-6 7/25/18 through 10/3/18

What is Salmonella?
Salmonella is a bacteria that makes people sick. The illness people get from a Salmonella infection is called salmonellosis. Most people infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps between 12 and 72 hours after infection. The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days and most people recover without treatment.

Who is at Risk?
Children are the most likely to get salmonellosis. The rate of diagnosed infections in children less than five years old is higher than the rate in all other persons. Children younger than 5 years of age, the elderly, and those with weakened immune systems are more likely to have severe infections. It is estimated that approximately 400 persons die each year with acute salmonellosis.

What Do Restaurants and Retailers Need To Do?
Restaurants and retailers should not sell or utilize any recalled shell eggs. Restaurants and retailers should dispose of any of the listed shell eggs by throwing them in the garbage or return them to the place of purchase for credit or refund.

Restaurants and retailers who have served any potentially contaminated or recalled products need to be concerned about cross–contamination of food processing equipment and the food processing environment. They should follow the steps below

  • Wash and sanitize display cases and refrigerators regularly.
  • Wash and sanitize cutting boards, surfaces, and utensils used to prepare, serve, or store food.
  • Wash hands with hot water and soap following the cleaning and sanitation process.

What Do Consumers Need To Do?
People should not eat any recalled eggs. If they have any of the listed products, they should throw them in the garbage or return them to the place of purchase for credit or a refund.

  • People who think they might have become ill from eating possibly contaminated eggs should talk to their health care providers.
  • Consumers should always practice safe food handling and preparation measures. Wash hands, utensils, and surfaces with hot, soapy water before and after handling raw eggs and raw egg-containing foods.
    • Cook eggs until both the yolk and the white are firm. Scrambled eggs should not be runny.
    • Casseroles and other dishes containing eggs should be cooked to 160° F. Use a food thermometer to be sure.
    • For recipes that call for eggs that are raw or undercooked when the dish is served – like Caesar salad dressing and homemade ice cream – use either eggs that have been treated to destroy Salmonella, by pasteurization or another approved method, or pasteurized egg products.
  • Thoroughly clean all food preparation surfaces and food cutting utensils that may have come in contact with the potentially contaminated eggs.

Additional Information
Multistate Outbreak of Salmonella Enteritidis Infections Linked to Gravel Ridge Farm Eggs
FDA Recall Notice
FoodSafety.gov on Salmonella
CDC Salmonella