The incidence of Salmonella enteritidis infections has increased in the eastern United States, and consumption of undercooked eggs has been associated with outbreaks of S. enteritidis. In Minnesota, the incidence of S. enteritidis infections doubled from 1980 to 1990; however, no egg-associated outbreaks were identified. A case-control study was conducted to examine potential exposures for S. enteritidis and Salmonella typhimurium infections in Minnesota adults. Sporadic cases of S. enteritidis (odds ratio [OR], 5.2; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.9-14.2; P = .003) and S. typhimurium infection (OR, 2.4; CI, 1.1-5.5; P = .03) were more likely to have consumed undercooked eggs or egg-containing foods during the 3 days before onset of illness compared to a similar reference period for controls. In addition, the extent to which eggs were cooked was directly associated with illness (χ2 test for trend, P <.001). These findings demonstrate that eggs are important vehicles for S. enteritidis and S. typhimurium, even in the absence of recognized outbreaks.
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