October 27, 2016

2015 Food Poisoning Outbreaks from Pets

chicks-arsDuring 2015, there were seven multistate food poisoning outbreaks linked to contact with pets. All of them were Salmonella outbreaks. Here is a brief look at each one.

Two of the outbreaks were linked to turtles and occurred at the same time. The Salmonella outbreaks linked to tiny pet turtles sickened 51 people in 16 states. About half of the illnesses, which were reported between  January 22, 2015 and September 8, 2015, affected children 5 and under.

Because small turtles have long been associated with Salmonella infections, especially in children, the sale of turtles with shells of less than four inches in length has been banned since 1974. Many of the case patients in this outbreak reported buying the small turtles from street vendors.

A Salmonella outbreak linked to crested geckos sickened 20 people in 16 states. Three people were hospitalized. The pet lizards, which come in a variety of colors, were sold at a variety of stores.

And four Salmonella outbreaks linked to live poultry occurred concurrently sickening 181 people in 40 states. Most of those sickened reported tending to backyard flocks before becoming ill.

The outbreaks were linked to live poultry from multiple hatcheries sold at 17 different feed supply stores. Thirty three people were hospitalized.


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