Food & Drink

Second Salmonella outbreak reported; cucumbers are likely source

The FDA is investigating a new outbreak of infections caused by Salmonella Braenderup. The outbreak may be related to an ongoing outbreak of Salmonella Africana infections. Both could be related to fresh cucumbers.

As of the posting of the new outbreak on June 5, 158 confirmed patients are infected with Salmonella Braenderup, according to the Food and Drug Administration. The patients are spread across 23 states.

For the Salmonella Africana Outbreak, there are 162 patients spread across 25 states. Fifty-four patients in that outbreak have required hospitalization. The first patient confirmed in the outbreak became ill on March 11. The patients range in age from 1 to 92 years old.

The FDA has reported that preliminary test results show that the Salmonella Africana outbreak may be linked to fresh, whole cumbers.

The two outbreaks share several similarities, including where and when illnesses occurred and the demographics of ill people. Investigators are working to determine whether the two outbreaks could be linked to the same food, according to the FDA.

The FDA is reporting that the Salmonella Africana Outbreak may be linked to cucumbers recalled by Fresh Start Produce Sales Inc. The cucumbers implicated in the Salmonella Africana Outbreak were sold in bulk to retail distribution centers, wholesalers, and food service distributors in 14 states, but these sellers may have shipped to additional states or re-packaged them for stores. A brand name or grower may not be indicated on the cucumber labels.

Specific stores where the cucumbers were sold have not been named. Investigators are working to collect more information to see if other cucumbers are affected.

Of 65 patients interviewed in the Salmonella Africana outbreak, 72 percent reported eating cucumbers before becoming sick. The outbreak was first posted by the FDA on May 22.

As part of the outbreak investigation, officials in the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture collected samples of cucumbers from several retail locations. Testing identified Salmonella in a sample of those cucumbers. Further testing is underway to determine if the strain of Salmonella from the cucumber sample is the same strain that is making people sick.

The number of sick people in both outbreaks is likely much higher than the confirmed number of patients, the CDC reported. The agency says there are 29 illnesses that go unreported for every one Salmonella illness confirmed in outbreaks.

About Salmonella infections
Food contaminated with Salmonella bacteria does not usually look, smell, or taste spoiled. Anyone can become sick with a Salmonella infection. Infants, children, seniors, and people with weakened immune systems are at higher risk of serious illness because their immune systems are fragile, according to the CDC.

Anyone who has eaten cucumbers and developed symptoms of Salmonella infection should seek medical attention. Sick people should tell their doctors about the possible exposure to Salmonella bacteria because special tests are necessary to diagnose salmonellosis. Salmonella infection symptoms can mimic other illnesses, frequently leading to misdiagnosis.

Symptoms of Salmonella infection can include diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever within 12 to 72 hours after eating contaminated food. Otherwise, healthy adults are usually sick for four to seven days. In some cases, however, diarrhea may be so severe that patients require hospitalization.

Older adults, children, pregnant women, and people with weakened immune systems, such as cancer patients, are more likely to develop a severe illness and serious, sometimes life-threatening conditions.

Some people get infected without getting sick or showing any symptoms. However, they may still spread the infections to others.

(To sign up for a free subscription to Food Safety News,click here)

Source link

Related Articles

Back to top button