June 17, 2024

Cantaloupe Salmonella Outbreak Includes 4 Deaths in Minnesota

The cantaloupe Salmonella outbreak that ended in January included four deaths in Minnesota, one in Oregon, and one in Indiana, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In Canada, seven deaths were reported. "The number of fatalities is unusually high," said Food Safety Attorney Eric Hageman whose law firm Pritzker Hageman is representing people sickened in the outbreak.  The outbreak was linked to Salmonella Oranienburg and Salmonella Sundsvall, a rare strain that causes severe illness, said Hageman, who is also the Publisher of Food Poisoning Bulletin.   The hospitalization rate was also higher than average. The outbreak, linked to Malichita and Rudy brand cantaloupe imported from Mexico, ended on January 19 with 407 illnesses, 158 hospitalizations, and six … [Read more...]

What is Salmonella Salmonella I 4:I:-?

It's the source of an outbreak linked to tainted charcuterie, but what Salmonella I 4:I:-? A strain by that name hasn't been associated with any previous outbreaks, recalls, or illnesses, so it had us intrigued until the Minnesota Department of Health cleared up the mystery. "This isn’t a new or different serotype but a change in laboratory methods. Since we now do serotyping using whole genome sequencing, 4 [5] 12:I:- is now reported as 4:I:-," an epidemiologist in the Foodborne Unit explained. Salmonella 4 [5] 12:I:- is a "monophasic variant of Salmonella Typhimurium, and it is an emerging threat to both human and animal health," according to a recent study. Contaminated feed is considered the primary vehicle, researchers found.  The strain has caused several recent food … [Read more...]

Salmonella Outbreak Tied to “Highly Contaminated” Cantaloupe

Cantaloupe tied to a Salmonella outbreak that has caused hundreds of illnesses and eight deaths in the U.S. and Canada is likely "very highly contaminated," April Hexemer, an epidemiologist and director of outbreak management with the Public Health Agency Canada told CBC News this week. Cross-Contamination Risk In addition to causing severe illness, highly contaminated food also poses a major risk of cross-contaminating other foods and surfaces. The Minnesota Department of Agriculture is one of the state agencies working with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on a "traceback" investigation tracing back the melons' journey from store shelves to fields where they were grown. Minnesota is one of two states where fatalities have been reported in this outbreak. Oregon is the … [Read more...]

Salmonella Oranienburg Cantaloupe, Cut Fruit and Canada Redux

In its November 30 update on a deadly cantaloupe Salmonella outbreak, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revealed the fast-growing outbreak has caused 180 illnesses, 78 hospitalizations, and three deaths in the U.S. and Canada. And that some of the patients are residents of long-term care facilities. The update also disclosed that a second Salmonella strain, Salmonella Oranienburg, has been linked to some of these illnesses. And that's notable because Oranienburg isn't a top-10 strain in the U.S. It's been linked to a handful of multistate outbreaks over the last two decades. There was a 2014 chia powder outbreak,  back-to-back outbreaks linked to shell eggs produced by the same company in 2015 and 2016,  and a 2021 fresh onions outbreak that sickened 1,040 … [Read more...]

Does Indiana Cantaloupe Have a Salmonella Problem?

Last week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) closed without solving its investigation of a Salmonella Newport outbreak that sickened 11 people in August. But information the agency gathered during its probe unearthed a troubling finding. During interviews with patients, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) learned that people who got sick had eaten cantaloupe or watermelon before developing symptoms of Salmonella infections. Tracing the source of the melons back from the point of purchase, the FDA was able to determine that the melons were grown in Southwest Indiana. Three environmental samples collected from farms there matched the outbreak strain of Salmonella Newport. Other samples from a “farm of interest and surrounding areas” were positive for … [Read more...]

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