A Salmonella outbreak linked to pork from Kapowsin Meats of Graham, Wash. was the third-largest multistate food poisoning outbreak of 2015. The outbreak, which sickened 192 people in five states from April 25, 2015 to October 10, 2015, was announced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in August.
The antibiotic resistant outbreak strains of Salmonella I 4,,12:i:- and Salmonella Infantis hospitalized 30 people. Most of the illnesses occurred in Washington. By state, the case count was as follows: Alaska (1), California (2), Idaho (2), Oregon (3) and Washington (184).
Most of those sickened reported attending events where whole pigs were roasted before they became ill. Salmonella symptoms include nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, bloody diarrhea and fever which usually develop within six to 72 hours of exposure and last up to a week.
Kapowsin issued a recall on August 13 and then expanded the recall and ceased production on August 27, 2015. In all, 523,380 pounds of pork products were recalled.
The CDC’s National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS) laboratory conducted the antibiotic-resistance testing on samples from 10 case patients. Results of the tests showed all of the isolates tested were multidrug resistant. Antibiotics including ampicillin, streptomycin, sulfisoxazole, and tetracycline were not effective in combatting the infections.
Antibiotic resistance is associated with increased illnesses that are more severe, icreased risk of hospitalization, longer hospital stays and increased risk of complications.
A small number of Salmonella infections migrate from the gastrointestinal tract to the bloodstream infection. These cases need immediate medical treatment as they can be fatal.
Long-term complications of a Salmonella infections include heart problems, irritable bowel syndrome and reactive arthritis which causes painful swelling of the joints and eye irritation.