An e-mail update from Indiana Senators Tom Wyss (R-15th) and David Long (R-16th):

Health Officials: Egg Recall Does Not Affect Flu Shots

Health officials say the current egg recall affecting Indiana and 13 other states has no impact on flu shots. Some consumers are concerned the recent egg recall is a reason not to get their flu shots this year – since the vaccine is made in part by growing the virus in chicken eggs – but federal health officials say there’s no reason to worry.

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the August 2010 salmonella outbreak in shell eggs for food consumption does not affect 2010-2011 influenza virus vaccine production, safety or availability.

In fact, officials say eggs used to help make the vaccine come from different farms than table eggs. These specialized farmers must follow stricter guidelines and be subject to more rigid inspections – a move by the government to help protect against a flu pandemic, said health officials.

This year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends everyone 6 months and older be vaccinated. About 130 million doses of the influenza vaccine are expected to be distributed nationwide.

Because precautions are taken to keep vaccines safe for consumers, seniors and children should still get their flu shots in preparation for the fall and winter months. However, this doesn’t mean Hoosiers shouldn’t be checking their eggs. To continue to prevent salmonella infections, they should still be inspecting the codes stamped on the end of the egg cartons or printed on the case labels.

Salmonella can be carried into poultry houses by rodents and insects, infecting flocks. Symptoms of Salmonella Enteritidis in humans include fever, abdominal cramps and diarrhea.

Brands in Indiana affected by the recall include Hillandale Farms, Sunny Farms, Sunny Meadow, West Creek and Wholesome Farms. Only packages with the following plant numbers and Julian dates – packaging dates beginning with “1” for Jan. 1 through “365” for Dec. 31 – are affected:

  • P1860, Julian dates 099-230; and
  • P1663, Julian dates 137-230.

Consumers who believe they’ve purchased infected eggs may return them to the store from which they were purchased for a full refund.

For more information on the recall in Indiana, Hoosiers can visit the State Health Department website at www.in.gov/isdh/24954.htm or contact Hillandale Farms at 1-866-262-4208.

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