October 23, 2021

Salmonella Potsdam Outbreak Ends With 7 Sick, No Information

According to the FDA’s Core Outbreak Investigation Table, the recently announced Salmonella Potsdam outbreak has ended with seven people sick. We don’t know what caused the illnesses, where those sickened live, if anyone was hospitalized or died, or the ages of the patients or their illness onset dates.

Salmonella Potsdam Outbreak Ends With 7 Sick, No Information

The FDA has initiated traceback, has conducted on-site inspections, and has conducted sample collection and analysis. But no recall has been issued, no public health advisory has been issued, and no more information has been released. The FDA does state that “Outbreak investigations that do not result in specific, actionable steps for consumers may or may not conclusively identify a source or reveal any contributing factors.”

Salmonella Potsdam is a rare serotype of this pathogen. In 2002, a Salmonella Potsdam outbreak was associated with salad dressing that was served at a restaurant in New South Wales. Seventeen people met the case designation of the illness. A food source was not identified, but shell egg-based Caesar salad dressing and mayonnaise, along with a swab of a cap from a mayonnaise bottle collected at restaurant A did test positive for Salmonella Potsdam.

The egg supplier to restaurant A was investigated as well as the restaurant and the animal rendering plant. At the restaurant, investigators found problems of inadequate cleaning, time-temperature abuse, and ignorance of the hazardous nature of raw shell eggs. At the egg production facility, there was poor sanitation and lack of hygiene inspections. And at the animal rendering plant, there were problems with cleaning, storage, and  lack of bacterial monitoring of the final product.

In 2011, a study published in the National Library of Medicine stated that the server Potsdam was emerging as a major serovar in waterfowl hatcheries and chicken eggs. The serovar was found in 1.8% of eggs from chickens fed on the ground, not housed in cages, and in egg content as well as eggshell membrane.

We may never know more details about this Salmonella Potsdam outbreak. Al consumers can do is follow food safety rules in the kitchen, keep informed about recalls and outbreak notices, and know the symptoms of a Salmonella infection so they can get medical help when needed.

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