March 19, 2019

Salmonella Outbreaks in 2018 Sickened 1,394 People

Salmonella outbreaks linked to food products in 2018 were numerous and severe; 15 were multistate. In fact, seven of the top 10 multistate outbreaks of the year were caused by different strains of Salmonella bacteria. By July 2018, there were five multistate outbreaks that sickened at least 553 people.

In all, at least 1,394 people were sickened by Salmonella in ground beef, chicken salad, pasta salad, turkey, cereal, tahini, cake mix, chicken, eggs, and melons. And six of these outbreaks are still ongoing.

Salmonella Outbreaks 2018

The words “at least” are used because most people who contract Salmonella infections never see a doctor, so are not diagnosed and added to an outbreak total. Epidemiologists use what is called a “multiplier” to estimate the actual number sickened in Salmonella outbreaks. That number is 30.3. That means that there were probably more than 42,000 people sickened in those fifteen outbreaks.

Top 15 Outbreaks

Many lawsuits were filed because of these outbreaks. Hundreds were hospitalized, and some people died. The top 16 outbreaks were:

  1. JBS Tolleson Ground Beef Salmonella Newport Outbreak. This outbreak has not been declared over, even though according to the last update posted by the CDC on December 12, 2018, the last started on November 9, 2018. This outbreak prompted a huge recall of more than 12,000,000 pounds of ground beef and ground beef products. At least 333 people have been sickened in this outbreak so far.
  2. Salmonella Adelaide Outbreak Linked to Precut Melons. This outbreak, which began in April 2018, sickened at least 77 people. Fifty-one percent of patients were hospitalized, which is a very high number. Most Salmonella outbreaks hospitalize about 20% of patients.
  3. Gravel Ridge Farms Shell Eggs Salmonella Enteritidis Outbreak. This outbreak was one of two in 2018. 44 people in 11 states were sickened. Gravel Ridge Farms recalled their cage free large eggs in response to these illnesses.
  4. Salmonella Agbeni Outbreak Potentially Linked to Duncan Hines Cake Mix. Five people have been sickened in this outbreak. Officials have not yet determined if Duncan Hines cake mixes are linked to these illnesses, but an investigation is ongoing. This outbreak is not over.
  5. Achdut Tahini Salmonella Concord Outbreak. In this outbreak, which has not been declared over, five people in three states are sick. The tahini was imported from Israel.
  6. Salmonella Infantis Outbreak Linked to Raw Chicken Products. This outbreak sickened at least 92 people in 29 states. Twenty-one patients were hospitalized. A single, common producer of raw chicken products was not identified in this outbreak, which has not been declared over.
  7. Hy Vee Spring Pasta Salad Sandiego and Salmonella Enterica Outbreak. In this outbreak, at least 101 people were sickened. The salad was sold at Hy-Vee grocery stores in the upper Midwest.
  8. Salmonella Reading Outbreak Linked to Raw Turkey. This outbreak has sickened at least 216 people, and isn’t over. One person, who lived in California, died. This outbreak wasn’t linked to any particular processor or brand, although Jennie-O recalled raw ground turkey products in November and December.
  9. Salmonella Mbandaka Outbreak Linked to Kellogg’s Honey Smacks Cereal. This outbreak surprised people, since dry cereal isn’t usually thought of as a potential outbreak source. At least 135 people were sickened in this outbreak.
  10. Rose Acre Farms Shell Eggs Salmonella Braenderup Outbreak. This outbreak sickened 45 people in 10 states. Rose Acre Farms recalled more than 200 million eggs in response.
  11. Salmonella Typhimurium Outbreak Linked to Dried Coconut. This outbreak, which started in September 2017 and ended in May 2018, sickened at least fourteen people. The outbreak strain was found in two samples of Natural Grocers Coconut Smiles Organic from a store and from an ill person’s home.
  12. Salmonella Montevideo Outbreak Linked to Raw Sprouts. There was only one raw sprout Salmonella outbreak in 2018, which was unusual. Ten people were sickened. Ill persons said they ate raw sprouts on sandwiches served at Jimmy John’s restaurants in Wisconsin and Illinois, and one person purchased raw sprouts from a grocery store in Minnesota.
  13. Salmonella Newport and I 4,[5],12:b:- Outbreak Linked to Frozen Coconut. This first multistate outbreak of 2018 was linked to Coconut Tree Brand Frozen Shredded Coconut. Most of those sickened consumed an Asian-style desert drink that was made with coconut, served at restaurants.
  14. Salmonella Typhimurium Outbreak Linked to Fareway Chicken Salad. This outbreak sickened at least 265 people in 8 states in the Upper Midwest. One person, who lived in Iowa, died. The chicken salad was produced at Triple T Specialty Meats. The bacteria in this outbreak was resistant to many different types of antibiotics.
  15. Salmonella I 4,[5],12:i:- Outbreak Linked to Raw Chicken. This outbreak sickened 25 people. One person who lived in New York died. The outbreak strain of Salmonella was found in two chicken processing facilities, including one that processes Empire Kosher brand chicken.
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