There are 18 confirmed cases of Salmonella Paratyphi in Southern California, including seven in Los Angeles County, four in Orange and Ventura counties, two in Riverside County, and one in Santa Barbara County.
Seven other people sickened are from other states but had traveled to the area, according to the Ventura County Public Health Department. Five have been hospitalized.
Department officials said Monday that the exact cause of the outbreak is still being investigated, but indications point to a link with raw tuna in sushi.
“As of April 17th, 10 out of 10 people who completed detailed food questionnaires stated they had consumed sushi, and over 80 percent reported having eaten raw tuna,” department officials said.
This particular strain of Salmonella had never been seen before March 2015, but the department said that a closely related strain was responsible for an outbreak that occurred in California and Hawaii back in 2010. That outbreak was found to be linked to raw tuna imported from Indonesia.
“This strain is genetically different from the 2010 strain, so it appears the two strains are unrelated at this time,” officials said.
Anyone who becomes ill after eating sushi or any other foods can report concerns to Ventura County Environmental Health here or by calling (805) 654-2813. Anyone who has nausea, diarrhea, abdominal cramps and/or fever should immediately seek medical attention.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), foods of animal origin may be contaminated with Salmonella, so people should not eat raw or undercooked eggs, poultry, or meat. Raw eggs may be unrecognized in some foods, such as homemade Hollandaise sauce, Caesar and other homemade salad dressings, tiramisu, homemade ice cream, homemade mayonnaise, cookie dough, and frostings.
Also, CDC says, poultry and meat, including hamburgers, should be well-cooked, not pink in the middle. Persons also should not consume raw or unpasteurized milk or other dairy products. Produce should be thoroughly washed.© Food Safety News