The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) have just identified tomatoes as the source of the Salmonella Newport outbreak that has sickened 64 people who ate at Chipotle restaurants around the state. They are now working to trace the tomatoes back to the farm where they were grown.
Now, 66 people have been sickened in this outbreak. Twenty-two Chipotle restaurants are linked to the outbreak, an increase of five since the last report. Nine people have been hospitalized because of their illness, and all are recovering. People sickened in this Salmonella outbreak ate at the restaurants from August 16 to August 28, and became ill between August 19 and September 3, 2015. The patient age range is 10 to 69 years. The patients live in 13 metro counties and several greater Minnesota counties.
MDH Epidemiologist Dana Eikmeier said in a statement, “we expected to see additional cases because it can take up to 10 days for symptoms of Salmonella to appear, another few days to a week before people go to their doctors and the cases get reported to us. However, there is no longer a risk of Salmonella from this particular product at Chipotle.”
The company has changed suppliers for its tomatoes. The tomatoes in question have been removed from the restaurants and are no longer a risk for food poisoning.
The locations involved in this outbreak are Edina, Crystal, Hopkins, St. Louis Park, St. Paul Lawson, US Bank Plaza Minneapolis, Bloomington, Richfield, Maple Grove, Maplewood, 7 Corners Minneapolis, Calhoun Village Minneapolis, Uptown Minneapolis, Minnetonka, Ridgedale Center, Rochester, Shoreview, St. Cloud, Minneapolis on 6th Street, Mankato, Maplewood Mall, and Eagan Promenade. The locations not previously identified are in Edina at 6801 Y0rk Avenue, Minneapolis at 50 S. 6th Street, Mankato at 1851 Madison Avenue, Maplewood Mall at 3905 White Bear Avenue, and Eagan Promenade at 3324 Promenade Avenue.
If you ate at any of these restaurants, especially if you ate any dish that contained raw tomatoes, and have experienced the symptoms of Salmonella food poisoning, please see your doctor as soon as possible. Those symptoms include nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea that may be bloody, fever, chills, headache, and muscle pains.
These symptoms usually appear within six hours to three days after exposure. Most people get better without medical treatment, but some must be hospitalized because their symptoms are so severe.
And the long term consequences of this infection can be serious. People who have recovered from Salmonella infections can develop Reiter’s Syndrome, an illness that can lead to arthritis, irritation of the eyes, and a painful sensation during urination. This condition can last for months or years. Patients can also develop irritable bowel syndrome, high blood pressure, and heart problems.