October 17, 2017

Largest Multi-State Food Poisoning Outbreaks of 2013: #6

A Salmonella outbreak linked to cucumbers imported from Mexico was the sixth-largest multi-state food poisoning outbreak of 2013. The 18-state outbreak, which began in January and ended in April, sickened 84 people, 17 of  whom were hospitalized.

Salmonella-Cucumbers-6-20-13Infections from the outbreak strain of Salmonella Saintpaul are rarely seen in the U.S., with less than five cases typically reported each year. Using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) to find the genetic “fingerprint”of the bacterial strain, public health investigators linked the outbreak to cucumbers grown by Daniel Cardenas Izabal and Miracle Greenhouse of Culiacán, Mexico and distributed by Tricar Sales, Inc. of Rio Rico, Arizona. After the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) placed both suppliers on import alert on April 24, cucumbers from those firms were denied admission into the United States until suppliers could show they are not contaminated with Salmonella.

The 84 people who contracted salmonellosis from the cucumbers ranged in age from less than one year old to 84 years old. The median age was 27. Sixty two percent were female. The cases from each state were as follows: Arizona (11), California (29), Colorado (2), Idaho (2), Illinois (3), Louisiana (1), Maryland (1), Massachusetts (1), Minnesota (9), Nevada (1), New Mexico (2), North Carolina (3), Ohio (3), Oregon (2), South Dakota (2), Texas (7), Virginia (3), and Wisconsin (2).

About 1.3 million Americans contract Salmonella infections every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Of those, about 15,000 are hospitalized and 4,000 die. Salmonellosis can also trigger long-term health problems such as reactive arthritis, inflammation of the heart, spine, tendons and eye membranes.

 

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