Minnesota has been struck by four Salmonella outbreaks in the last two months. Together these outbreaks, linked to frozen breaded chicken products, cucumbers and produce have sickened 66 people.
In July, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) announced two separate Salmonella outbreaks linked to frozen, breaded chicken products.
The first outbreak was linked to raw, frozen stuffed chicken entrees produced by Barber Foods. Six people were sickened, two were hospitalized. The illnesses were reported from April 5 through June 8 among case patients ranging in age from 19 to 82 years. All of the cases were reported in the Twin Cities metropolitan area.
Barber has issued a recall for the product which was sold at Sam’s Club s stores in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Illinois and at other stores.
The second was linked to raw, frozen stuffed chicken entrees produced by Aspen Foods. Three people were sickened in this outbreak.
Aspen Foods issued a recall of 1,978,680 pounds of frozen, raw, stuffed and breaded chicken products sold under multiple brand names. Three Minnesotans were sickened in that outbreak.
The recalled products, produced between April 15, 2015 and July 10, 2015, had “best if used by” dates between July 14, 2016 and October 10, 2016 and had the code “P-1358” inside the USDA mark of inspection.
The recalled products, including Chicken Kiev, Chicken Cordon Bleu, Chicken with Broccoli and Cheese, and many others, were sold under the brand names: Roundy’s, Chestnut Farms, Market Day, Spartan, Acclaim, Family Favorites, Kirkwood, Safeway, Buckley Farms, Oven Cravers, Centrella Signature, Shaner’s, Schwan’s, Koch Foods, Antioch Farms, Rose, Sysco, and Rosebud Farm.
In September two more outbreaks were announced, one linked to cucumbers sold at grocery stores and served at some restaurants including Red Lobster, the other linked to a contaminated produce served a Chipotle restaurants.
The cucumber outbreak has sickened 341 people in 30 states are sick. Seventy people have been hospitalized, two of them have died.
In Minnesota, 12 people contracted Salmonella Poona infections from contaminated cucumbers. Ten of them ate cucumbers on salads served at Red Lobster.
Two cucumber recalls have been issued. The first by Andrew and Williamson Fresh Produce of San Diego which issued a recall on September 5 for cucumbers grown in Mexico and distributed in the U.S. That recall includes cucumbers sold from August 1 through September 3.
The recalled cucumbers, known as “slicer” or “American” cucumbers, are dark green in color and between 7 and 10 inches long and between 1.75 inches to 2.5 inches in diameter. At grocery stores, they are usually sold in a bulk display without any individual packaging or plastic wrapping. Restaurants often slice these cucumbers for use in salads.
The second recall was announced yesterday by Custom Produce Sales of Parlier, California. The recalled cucumbers grown in Mexico and distributed in the U.S. were sold under the Fat Boy® label starting August 1, 2015.
And on Thursday, MDH announced an outbreak linked to food served at Chipotle that has sickened 45. Five were hospitalized but are recovering.
At least 17 locations are involved, most of them located in the Twin Cities metropolitan area. Produce has been identified as the likely source. Test results on foods collected from various locations are pending.
Because many cases of salmonellosis go undiagnosed, the number of those sickened is likely to be much higher and health officials want to alert people who have become ill with symptoms of salmonellosis to see a health care provider and mention the outbreak.
Symptoms of a Salmonella infection usually develop within six to 72 hours of exposure and include fever, nausea, abdominal cramps and diarrhea that can be bloody. Typically, these symptoms last between four and seven days. About 28 percent of cases require hospitalization. Of those, an invasive, life-threatening form of the infection can occur.