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Salmonella beginning to surface in region as egg recall expands in Iowa

Illnesses of at least seven additional people in Minnesota have been connected with an expanded multi-state recall of eggs from an Iowa producer due to contamination with Salmonella.

This brings the total number of cases in Minnesota linked to the recall to 14, according to the Minnesota Department of Health.

While there have been no outbreaks in Hubbard County, according to Chris Broeker, St. Joseph's Community Health manager, the additional Salmonella Enteriditis cases were identified as part of a restaurant outbreak in Bemidji.

Shell eggs were identified as the likely source of the outbreak and were traced back by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture and Food and Drug Adminstration to Hillandale Farms of New Hampton, Iowa.

Eggs from Hillandale Farms have now been included in an expanded egg recall that also includes Wright County Egg of Galt, Iowa.

Health officials emphasized that while seven cases in Minnesota have been linked with the recall, there are potentially many more cases that could be involved.

So far this year, Minnesota has received more reports of Salmonella Enteriditis infections of this strain than were reported in previous years, according to Kirk Smith, a foodborne illness supervisor with the Minnesota Department of Health.

It is estimated that for every confirmed case of Salmonella, there are approximately 38 unconfirmed cases.

Salmonella Enteriditis is one of the most common strains of Salmonella circulating.

"People should cook eggs thoroughly," Broeker advises of killing the bacteria. "Eating raw eggs puts people at risk for Salmonella" - including sampling raw cookie dough.

The most common symptoms of salmonella are diarrhea, abdominal cramps and fever within eight to 72 hours of eating a contaminated product.

It can be life threatening, especially for those with weakened immune systems.