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Salmonella fears prompt extension of vast US egg recall

Image caption Undercooked eggs in soups, salads, pies and puddings have caused problems

A US egg company has extended a nationwide food recall to 380 million eggs, after outbreaks of salmonella poisoning in a number of states.

Iowa-based Wright County Egg last week recalled some 228m eggs distributed under more than a dozen brand names.

The firm is part of DeCoster Farms, a family-run agribusiness.

The US Food and Drug Administration said salmonella outbreaks had increased fourfold since May. There are inquiries into the illness in 13 states.

Proper cooking

Eggs from Wright County Egg were linked to illness in three states.

The eggs were distributed around the country and packaged under the names Lucerne, Albertson, Mountain Dairy, Ralph's, Boomsma's, Sunshine, Hillandale, Trafficanda, Farm Fresh, Shoreland, Lund, Dutch Farms and Kemp.

The egg producer said it was cooperating fully with an FDA investigation and was diverting its eggs to a breaker for pasteurization to kill any harmful bacteria.

Salmonella poisoning can be deadly for people with compromised immune systems, but no deaths have so far been reported.

Bacteria can be passed from seemingly healthy chickens, and grows both inside the egg and on the shell.

Proper cooking can kill the bacteria, but authorities recommend discarding or returning any potentially affected eggs.

The US Egg Safety Center has information on which eggs US consumers should avoid.

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