July 23, 2024

Salmonella Typhimurium Outbreak Linked to Dried Coconut Ends With Fourteen Sick and Lawsuits

The multistate Salmonella Typhimurium outbreak that is linked to dried coconut products is over with fourteen sick, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But, government officials are warning consumers that these recalled products have a long shelf life and may still be in consumer’s homes. Anyone who is not aware of this recall and outbreak could still get sick.

Salmonella Typhimurium Coconut Outbreak 51818

As of May 18, 2018, the outbreak appears to be over. The recalled dried coconut products include Organic Go Smile! Raw Coconut, Go Smiles Dried Coconut Raw, and Natural Grocers Coconut Smiles Organic with various lot numbers and UPC numbers. Look at this list carefully and make sure you don’t have any of these products in your home. One of the issues with this recall is that some of the coconut items were repackaged into clear, plastic containers with grocery store labeling, or served in bulk bins. If you aren’t sure if the dried coconut in your pantry is a recalled product, throw it away.

The case count by state is: California (5), Colorado (1), Connecticut (1), District of Columbia (1), Idaho (1), Missouri (1), Oregon (2), Texas (1), and Utah (1). The illness onset dates ranged from September 22, 2017 to February 26, 2018. The patient age range was from 1 to 73 years. Three people were hospitalized because they were so sick.

Public health investigators used the PulseNet system to find people who were part of this outbreak. Whole genome sequencing performed on isolates from patients showed they were closely related genetically.

In interviews, ill persons were asked about the foods they ate before they got sick. Eight of ten people interviewed said they ate dried coconut. Of those eight, four purchased the coconut at different Natural Grocers store locations.

The FDA and other officials collected dried coconut from people’s homes, as well as from Natural Grocers stores and from the National Grocers’ Distribution Center. They found the outbreak strain of Salmonella Typhimurium in an unopened sample of Natural Grocers Coconut Smiles Organic collected from Natural Grocers. The outbreak strain was also identified in an opened, leftover sample of Natural Grocers Coconut Smiles Organic collected from an ill person’s home. The outbreak strain was also found in samples of International Harvest Brand Organic Go Smile! Dried Coconut Raw and Go Smiles Dried Coconut Raw.

Testing on those samples showed that the Salmonella Typhimurium in the coconut was closely related to the Salmonella from ill persons. That is more evidence that people got sick from eating the coconut.


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