Federal officials today confirmed reports out of Wisconsin and Minnesota about Salmonella infections connected to fresh vegetable trays from Del Monte Fresh Produce Inc.
Inspectors from the Food and Drug Administration are onsite at the Del Monte facility in Kankakee, IL, that produced the implicated trays of pre-cut vegetables and dip. Del Monte distributed the vegetable-dip trays to Kwik Trip convenience stores in Wisconsin and Minnesota, where at least three people and one person, respectively, have been confirmed with infections, according to the FDA’s announcement today.
“The FDA, CDC and state authorities from Wisconsin and Minnesota continue to investigate the cause and source of the outbreak and the distribution of products,” the FDA reported.
“This outbreak is not related to the Cyclospora infections linked to Del Monte vegetable trays in 2018.”
Wisconsin authorities told federal officials the patients reported becoming ill between April 13 and April 27 this year. It can take four or more weeks for Salmonella infections to be reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention because of lag time between when a person becomes sick and when confirmed laboratory test results are reported to the federal agency.
The Kwik Trip company has removed the implicated vegetable trays, but Del Monte had not posted a product recall with the FDA as of this afternoon.
Officials in Wisconsin yesterday released information on the packaging of the suspected trays that consumers can use to determine whether they have any of the freshcut vegetables in their homes.
“The Wisconsin Department of Health Services is warning people not to eat the following products,” according to the FDA notice.
- Del Monte Vegetable Tray (containing broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, and dill dip) 6 oz.
- Del Monte Vegetable Tray (containing broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, and dill dip) 12 oz.
Information about Salmonella infections
Food that is contaminated with Salmonella bacteria usually does not look, smell or taste spoiled. Anyone can become sick with a Salmonella infection, but infants, children, seniors and people with weakened immune systems are at higher risk of serious illness because their immune systems are fragile, according to the CDC.
Anyone who has eaten any of the suspect products and developed symptoms of Salmonella infection should seek medical attention. Sick people should tell their doctors about the possible exposure to Salmonella bacteria because special tests are necessary to diagnose salmonellosis. Salmonella infection symptoms can mimic other illnesses, frequently leading to misdiagnosis.
Symptoms of Salmonella infection can include diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever within 12 to 72 hours after eating contaminated food. Otherwise healthy adults are usually sick for four to seven days. In some cases, however, diarrhea may be so severe that patients need to be hospitalized.
Older adults, children, pregnant women and people with weakened immune systems, such as cancer patients, are more likely to develop a severe illness and serious, sometimes life-threatening conditions.
It is possible for some people to be infected with the bacteria and to not get sick or show any symptoms, but to still be able to spread the infection to others.
(To sign up for a free subscription to Food Safety News, click here.)