Inspectors are looking for specific sources of two new Salmonella outbreaks that have been associated with Italian-style meats. Three dozen people from 17 states have been confirmed infected so far.
A third of the patients have been so sick they had to be admitted to hospitals, according to an outbreak announcement today from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
No recall has been initiated because investigators are still trying to determine the specific meats involved.
“As of August 24, 2021, a total of 36 people infected with either Salmonella outbreak strain have been reported. This includes 23 people who are part of the Salmonella Typhimurium outbreak and 13 people who are part of the Salmonella Infantis outbreak,” according to the CDC.
“The true number of sick people in the outbreaks is likely much higher than the number reported, and the outbreaks may not be limited to the states with known illnesses. This is because many people recover without medical care and are not tested for Salmonella. In addition, recent illnesses may not yet be reported as it usually takes 3 to 4 weeks to determine if a sick person is part of an outbreak.”
For each outbreak, DNA fingerprinting showed that bacteria from sick people’s samples are closely related genetically. This suggests that people in each outbreak got sick from eating the same food, according to the CDC.
Investigators are working to identify which Italian-style meat brands and products are making people sick. Until then, CDC is advising people to heat Italian-style meats to an internal temperature of 165 degrees F or until steaming hot before eating.
Salmonella Typhimurium outbreak
Twenty-three sick people have been reported from 14 states in the Salmonella Typhimurium outbreak. Illnesses started on dates ranging from May 30 to July 27. Sick people range in age from 4 to 91 years old, with a median age of 44, and 67 percent are male.
Of 21 people with information available, nine have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.
State and local public health officials interviewed people about the foods they ate in the week before they got sick. Officials also obtained sick people’s shopper records with their consent. Of the 16 people with information, 14 ate Italian-style meats, including salami, prosciutto, coppa, and soppressata, which can often be found in antipasto or charcuterie assortments; several brands were reported.
Salmonella Infantis outbreak
Thirteen sick people have been reported from seven states. Illnesses started on dates ranging from May 9 to June 24. Sick people range in age from 1 to 74 years old, with a median age of 41 years, and 31percent are male. Of 10 people with information available, three have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.
State and local public health officials interviewed people about the foods they ate in the week before they got sick and collected their shopper records with their consent. Of the 8 people with information, all ate Italian-style meats, including salami and prosciutto, that can often be found in antipasto or charcuterie assortments; several brands were reported.
About Salmonella infections
Food contaminated with Salmonella bacteria does not usually look, smell, or taste spoiled. Anyone can become sick with a Salmonella infection. 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 Italian-style meats 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 require hospitalization.
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.
Some people get infected without getting sick or showing any symptoms. However, they may still spread the infections to others.
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