Salmonella poisoning was the source of most outbreak-associated hospitalizations in 2013, thanks in large part to the virulent strains of Salmonella Heidelberg linked to the Foster Farms outbreak. That finding is part of a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) about food poisoning outbreaks in 2013.
In 2013, 818 food poisoning outbreaks were reported, with 13,360 illnesses, 1,062 hospitalizations and 16 deaths. Outbreak-associated hospitalizations caused by Salmonella increased 38 percent from 454 in 2012 to 628 in 2013. The pathogen/food pair with the most hospitalizations was Salmonella/chicken.
That was the same year Foster Farms was linked to a 29-state Salmonella outbreak that sickened 634 people with especially virulent Salmonella. More than 250 of them were hospitalized.
Of the seven strains of Salmonella Heidelberg associated with the Foster Farms outbreak, which began in March 2013 and ended July 11, 2014, four were antibiotic resistant resulting in hospitalization rates of 38 percent, about double the average. Rates of severe blood infections that were triple the average.
Salmonella infections can have long term complications such as reactive arthritis, heart disease, and high blood pressure. Case patients ranged in age from less than 1 year old to 93 years old.