October 17, 2021

The Price of Salmonella in the US: $1 Million A Day

Many Americans are unaware that Salmonella poisoning causes real illness with real costs. In the U.S., direct medical cost associated with the treatment of Salmonella poisoning total about $1 million each day, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Salmonella“We need to understand the true burden of Salmonella in our food,’’ said Fred Pritzker, a national food safety lawyer, who is publishes Food Poisoning Bulletin. “If we don’t raise awareness, we’ll never get the interventions we need to stop food poisoning.’’

Each year, about 1.5 million Americans are sickened by Salmonella poisoning.  These infections, which occur when people eat food that is contaminated with microscopic amounts of fecal matter, cause illness that typically lasts one week.  Symptoms of a Salmonella infection, called salmonellosis,  include nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea that is sometimes bloody.

Of the 1.5 million Americans sickened by Salmonella each year, about 15,000 are hospitalized. Sometimes these hospitalizations are prompted by dehydration from other symptoms. In other cases, if the infection spreads from the intestinal tract to the bloodstream, death can occur without prompt treatment with antibiotics. About 4,000 die from salmonellosis every year.

Salmonella infections can also trigger long-term health conditions such as reactive arthritis which causes painful swelling of the joints.  Salmonella infection can also cause inflammation of the heart, spine, tendons and eye membranes.

About half of all Salmonella outbreaks are associated with restaurants. Two such outbreaks are currently being investigated, one in Illinois.and one in Kentucky. Both are are associated with independent Mexican restaurants.

In Illinois, at least 34 people are part of an outbreak linked to Hacienda Don Villo, a Mexican restaurant in Channahon, Illinois.  In Kentucky, one person has died and 14 others have been sickened in an outbreak liked to Casa Mexicana in Hopkins County.



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