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Salmonella Outbreak May Be Linked to Sushi

An outbreak of illnesses caused by Salmonella Bareilly poisoning, possibly linked but not confirmed to be associated with sushi, had sickened 90 people in 19 states and the District of Columbia as of Monday, according to sources within the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The majority of the cases have been reported from the Eastern Seaboard and the Gulf coast, but include cases as far west as Missouri and Texas. The state names have not yet been released by FDA or CDC.

According to an internal FDA email, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has characterized this outbreak as “ongoing and rapidly expanding,” particularly due to the prolonged reporting lag time (which can be up to 32 days after a patient’s infection is confirmed by lab analysis). Seven people reportedly have been hospitalized.

The FDA has been working with the CDC in investigating the outbreak and is continuing to eliminate other possible vehicles as the source of the illnesses. CDC officials postulate that sushi is the likely source of this outbreak, with spicy tuna roll sushi “highly suspect.”

The FDA source said data collected by the states and the agency’s district offices focuses on 6 implicated restaurant clusters where diners reported illness. Those clusters are in Texas, Maryland, Rhode Island and Connecticut, and two are in Wisconsin.

Phyllis Entis, author of eFoodAlert, reports that Texas, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Missouri, New York and Louisiana have reported cases that are linked to the outbreak, but the 11 other states haven’t been identified. Louisiana health officials told Entis their first case patients became ill in mid-February; New York says its first outbreak patient became ill on March 1.

According to Entis, health departments in Alaska, Arizona, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Minnesota, Nevada, Oklahoma and Utah say they are not investigating any cases related to this outbreak.

The traceback efforts are said to include analyzing information on menu items consumed, ingredients, brands, preparation and suppliers, particularly cases associated with the restaurant clusters, in an effort to identify the specific suspect outbreak vehicle.

If spicy tuna roll sushi is the source of the outbreak, investigators will try to determine what ingredient in the sushi might have been contaminated.

The time between eating a food contaminated with Salmonella and the beginning of symptoms is typically one to three days, sometimes longer.

© Food Safety News
  • Richard

    How about listing all 19 affected states ! Geez …

  • Jude in FL

    The journalistic idiocy of this article is maddening. How can you have a sentence in the first paragraph that says, “…had sickened 90 people in 19 states and the District of Columbia …” without ever–anywhere in the article–listing the 19 states? Moronic.

  • Douglas

    How about actually doing some journalism and following up on the distribution chain and which restaurant chains provided the sushi to customers? Weak, weak, weak reporting.

  • Theresa Kentner

    “All state names have not yet been released by FDA or CDC.” I am reasonably certain that if FSN HAD the names, they’d release them.

  • Nancy allen

    I can say new jersey is prob on the list. Had sushi on Sunday evening at Tokyo buffet deptford nj. Been horrendously sick ever since. Same with my dinner date. Although it took a little longer to hit them

  • Kel

    Um hello? Which states please??? Duh!

  • Pam

    How about Names of REstaurants affected with the names of states

  • David

    Something you’re doing right now will kill you in 10 minutes. We’ll cover that story at the end of the show; but now: PANDAS!

  • http://www.nanologix.com Someone in the USA

    There is a great new technology that detects dangerous bacteria 4-12 times faster than traditional petri dish culturing, and at low cost. See http://www.nanologix.com .

  • http://www.marlerblog.com bill marler

    Come on readers FSN is working hard on getting information on states and restaurants ASAP. This is the very latest from the CDC:
    CDC is collaborating with public health officials in several states and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to investigate a multistate outbreak of Salmonella serotype Bareilly infections. Salmonella Bareilly is an unusual serotype of Salmonella.
    Outbreak information
    The investigation has not conclusively identified a food vehicle.
    The investigation is ongoing into individual food items and their sources.
    From January 28 to April 2, 2012, a total of 90* individuals with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Bareilly have been reported from 19 states and the District of Columbia.
    State public health officials are interviewing ill persons to obtain information regarding foods they might have eaten and other exposures in the week prior to illness.
    On initial interviews, many of the ill persons reported consuming sushi, sashimi, or similar foods in a variety of locations in the week before becoming ill.
    CDC, FDA, and state and local public health partners are continuing surveillance to identify and interview other ill persons about the foods they ate.
    CDC will update the public on the progress of this investigation as information becomes available.
    Advice to Consumers
    At this time, there is no specific advice to consumers regarding this outbreak.
    Consumers are not being advised to avoid any specific foods or restaurants.
    If a specific food source is identified for this outbreak, public health officials will alert the public and take further steps to prevent additional illnesses.
    Persons who think they might have become ill from eating a potentially contaminated food product should consult their health care providers.
    Clinical Features/Signs and Symptoms
    Most persons infected with Salmonella bacteria develop diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps 12 to 72 hours after infection.
    The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days, and most persons recover without treatment. However, in some persons, the diarrhea may be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized.
    Salmonella infection may spread from the intestines to the bloodstream and then to other body sites and can cause death unless the person is treated promptly with antibiotics.
    Older adults, infants, and those with impaired immune systems are more likely to have a severe illness from Salmonella infection.
    More information about Salmonella, and steps people can take to reduce their risk of infection with Salmonella in general, can be found on the CDC Salmonella Web Page and the CDC Vital Signs Web Page
    Thanks,
    CDC News Media

  • Allen

    Working with a rather peculiar crowd here. They ate raw fish and got sick…what did they expect? Seems their expectations for reporting are a bit atmospheric, as well. It takes all kinds.

  • Rob

    My supervisor at work thinks he got food poisoning from eating sushi this weekend. This is in Illinois.

  • Doug Glass

    Oh darn! Just gotta have that raw infected Sushi. But keep eating it sheople, it’s just one more of mother’s ways of stealth population control.

  • Helen

    For those who are taking jabs at Sushi eaters. Get your facts straight. Hundreds have died from eating ground beef products and mayonnaise products gone bad as per numerous news articles in recent years. Very few even get ill from raw fish.
    Also, this article does not specifically state the fish was bad. Sushi is a form of preparing “rice”, not fish, so it could be another non-fish ingredient in the preparation of a spicy tuna roll.
    Eating raw or undercooked fish and meats is actually healthier for you than not, and healthier than vegetarianism due to the protein content and live enzymes that have not been cooked out. The bottom line is that you have to know the source of what you are eating and not eat anti-biotic, pesticide laced GMO foods in which the product was not raised or grown in a healthy environment. With fish, avoid farmed. With meat, only grass-fed organic.

  • http://www.foodsafetynews.com/contributors/bill-marler/ bill marler

    the CDC reports on Wednesday:
    A total of 93 individuals infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Bareilly have been reported from 19 states and the District of Columbia. The number of ill people identified in each state with the outbreak strain is as follows: Alabama (2), Arkansas (1), Connecticut (4), District of Columbia (2), Georgia (4), Illinois (8), Louisiana (2), Maryland (8), Massachusetts (4), Mississippi (1), Missouri (1), New Jersey (6), New York (23), North Carolina (2), Pennsylvania (2), Rhode Island (4), South Carolina (3), Texas (3), Virginia (5), and Wisconsin (8).
    Still no restaurant(s) named.

  • Jo

    Read people! The second paragraph specifically says, “The state names have not yet been released by FDA or CDC.”