Bridgewater Poultry Farm is working with government health and agricultural departments to investigate a salmonella contamination that may have come from eggs bought interstate and on Thursday led to a recall.
Victoria's Chief Veterinary Officer Dr Charles Milne confirmed that a potential link to a New South Wales outbreak of Salmonella Enteritidis was being investigated as the source of the infection.
Five cases of illness linked to salmonella enteritidis contamination have been confirmed by the Department of Heath and Human Services.
The strain of salmonella - which is not endemic in Australia - has not been found on any other farm in Victoria
A spokeperson for Loddon Valley Eggs said that as a precaution the Bridgewater farm had been quarantined and strict measures put in place to protect neighbouring farms.
They said that it was important to work through how this incident has arisen.
Loddon Valley Eggs on Thursday recalled a number of its products including Woolworths 12 Cage Free Eggs and Loddon Valley Barn Laid due to potential salmonella enteritidis (SE) contamination.
Affected products include Woolworths 12 Cage Free Eggs 700g (barcode 9300633636982), Victorian Fresh Barn Laid Eggs 600g, Victorian Fresh Barn Laid Eggs 700g, Victorian Fresh Barn Laid Eggs 800g and Loddon Valley Barn Laid 600g.
These products have 2019 best before dates of March 20, March 23, March 27, March 30, April 3, April 6, April 10, April 14, April 17, April 20, April 24, April 27 and April 29.
The Bridgewater products have been available for sale at Woolworths and independent stores in Victoria, ACT, NSW and Tasmania, and Coles in Victoria and South Australia.
Food Standards Australia New Zealand said in a statement the recall was due to potential microbial (salmonella Enteriditis) contamination, which could cause illness if consumed.
It asked consumers to return the listed products to the store they were bought from for a full refund and advsied people worried about their health to seek medical advice.
Food standards said people could call Bridgewater Poultry on 5437 3100 or loddonvalleyeggs.com.au for information about the egg products.
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Agriculture Victoria has placed controls on the business preventing it from selling eggs while the possibility of salmonella contamination is being investigated.
"A commercial egg farm in Victoria has tested positive for Salmonella Enteritidis, a bacterial infection that can cause illness in humans," Dr Milne.
"A potential link to a recent outbreak of Salmonella Enteritidis in people in New South Wales is currently being investigated as the source of infection.
"Agriculture Victoria has placed a quarantine order on the farm. Eggs will only be permitted to move for processing by pulping and pasteurisation at an approved facility.
"The prompt reporting of this infection by the egg producer's veterinarian has facilitated a quick response by Agriculture Victoria."
"The infection has not been detected on any other farms in Victoria. Although this is not a rapidly spreading disease, good farm biosecurity is essential for preventing introduction to other farms."
"This incident is a reminder to egg producers to ensure they are implementing best practice biosecurity measures on their property and complying with egg production requirements."
Victoria's chief health officer Brett Sutton said the Department of Health and Human Services had identified five cases of illness that could be linked to this strain of salmonella.
A DHHS spokesman said the five cases of illness related to the contamination affected people aged from 20s to 80s. Two people were hospitalised as a result but have since been released.
Mr Sutton said said all other eggs were safe to eat, provided people followed the usual requirements to cook eggs thoroughly.
"It is important to know that not all eggs are affected, but any eggs carrying the listed brands should return them to the point of sale for a full refund," he said.
"Alternatively, they can be discarded by throwing them into the garbage, not the garden or compost.
"These eggs should not be given to pets or livestock."
Dr Sutton said salmonellosis symptoms include fever, headache, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting.
He said symptoms usually started about six to 72 hours after eating the contaminated food and usually lasted for four to seven days but could continue for much longer.
Visit foodstandards.gov.au/recalls for the recall notice.
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