Of the meat and poultry inspected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service, Salmonella most commonly appears in chicken, ground beef and turkey. In that order. And Salmonella Kentucky is the most common strain of Salmonella.
These are among the many findings in a 123-page report the agency compiled examining 16 years of Salmonella data. The report, entitled Serotypes Profile of Salmonella Isolates from Meat and Poultry Products January 1998 through December 2014, was published on the agency’s website Friday.
In the U.S., norovirus causes the most food poisoning, but Salmonella is the leading cause of bacterial food poisoning. Each year, Salmonella sickens about 1.2 million Americans. Of those about 19,000 are hospitalized and 380 die.
In 2014, 360,000 illnesses, or about 30 percent of total Salmonella illnesses that year, were attributed to FSIS-regulated products, a 9.3 percent decrease from 2010, the agency said. This, despite one of the largest Salmonella outbreaks in modern history occurring during part of the year.
The 17-month Salmonella outbreak that sickened 634 people in 29 states began in March 2013 and ended in August2014. Seven strains of Salmonella Heidelberg were associated with the outbreak, four of them were antibiotic resistant resulting in outbreak hospitalization rates that were double the average and rates of severe blood infections that were triple the average.
That outbreak showed how dangerous Salmonella can be. Symptoms of an infection usually develop within six to 72 hours of exposure and include abdominal cramps and diarrhea that can be bloody. To learn more about Salmonella serotypes, click the link to the report at the start of this story.