The U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is investigating a mystery Salmonella Saintpaul outbreak that has sickened 59 people. The agency announced yesterday that it has begun a traceback investigation to try and identify the origin of the outbreak.
Salmonella Saintpaul is a fairly common serovar. Previous outbreaks have been linked to cucumbers, alfalfa sprouts, and jalapeno and serrano peppers.
2013 Cucumber Salmonella Saintpaul Outbreak
In 2013, a cucumber Salmonella Saintpaul outbreak sickened 84 people in 18 states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Seventeen people were hospitalized.
Health officials determined that cucumbers imported from Daniel Cardenas Izabal and Miracle Greenhouse of Culiacán, Mexico were the source of the outbreak. The FDA placed both companies on import alert list meaning that in the future unless the companies could show that the cucumbers were not contaminated with Salmonella, the cucumbers could not be admitted into the U.S.
The patients, who ranged in age from less than 1 year to 89 years old, reported by the onset of illness on dates ranging from January 12, 2013 to April 28, 2013. The number of illnesses reported from each state was: Arizona (11), California (29), Colorado (2), Idaho (2), Illinois (3), Louisiana (1), Maryland (1), Massachusetts (1), Minnesota (9), Nevada (1), New Mexico (2), North Carolina (3), Ohio (3), Oregon (2), South Dakota (2), Texas (7), Virginia (3), and Wisconsin (2).
2009 Alfalfa Sprouts Salmonella Saintpaul Outbreak
In 2009, an alfalfa sprouts Salmonella Saintpaul outbreak sickened 235 people in 14 states, according to the CDC. Three percent of the patients were hospitalized.
The patients ranged in age from less than 1 year old to 85 years old. They reported the onset of illnesses on dates ranging from February 1 and April 15, 2009. The number of illnesses reported from each state was: Nebraska (111), Iowa (35), South Dakota (38), Michigan (19), Kansas (8), Pennsylvania (7), Minnesota (5), Ohio (3), Illinois (2), Virginia (2), West Virginia (2), Florida (1), North Carolina (1), and Utah (1).
The FDA said the sprouts were produced at a number of facilities.
2008 Peppers Salmonella Saintpaul Outbreak
In 2008, a Salmonella Saintpaul outbreak linked to jalapeno and serrano peppers sickened 1,442 people in 43 states and Washington D.C., according to the CDC. At least 286 people were hospitalized and two people died.
Initially, health officials believed tomatoes were the source of the outbreak. But the outbreak strain was eventually isolated from jalapeno peppers collected from a patient’s home, a U.S. warehouse, and samples of peppers and water from a farm in Mexico.
The illnesses were reported between April 16 and August 11, 2008, among patients ranging in age from less than 1 to 99 years old. The number of cases reported from each state was: Alabama (8), Arkansas (21), Arizona (59), California (16), Colorado (17), Connecticut (5), Florida (4), Georgia (42), Idaho (6), Illinois (120), Indiana (21), Iowa (2), Kansas (21), Kentucky (2), Louisiana (3), Maine (1), Maryland (39), Massachusetts (31), Michigan (28), Minnesota (31), Mississippi (2), Missouri (20), Montana (1), New Hampshire (6), Nevada (14), New Jersey (16), New Mexico (115), New York (41), North Carolina (28), Ohio (10), Oklahoma (38), Oregon (11), Pennsylvania (15), Rhode Island (3), South Carolina (2), Tennessee (10), Texas (559), Utah (3), Virginia (31), Vermont (2), Washington (18), West Virginia (1), Wisconsin (13), and the District of Columbia (1). Cases were also reported in Canada.
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