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Salmonella Blog

Surveillance & Analysis on Salmonella News & Outbreaks

Marler Clark Retained in Chapel Hill Creamery Salmonella Outbreak

The Chapel Hill Creamery in Chapel Hill, NC, is recalling all of its cheese products because they have been linked to a growing Salmonella outbreak in North Carolina and elsewhere.

A local county health officer said Thursday that the outbreak has sickened at least 50 people in North Carolina and about the same number in other states, and that it’s the same strain found in samples of raw milk from the Chapel Hill Creamery. Nine of those sickened in North Carolina have been hospitalized so far.

The products being recalled include all codes, packages and sizes of 14 varieties of cheese manufactured by the Chapel Hill Creamery and distributed through retail locations, farmers markets and restaurants throughout North Carolina, Tennessee, South Carolina, Virginia and Georgia.

The cheese varieties are: Quark, Danziger, Swiss, Paneer, Calvander, Hot Farmers Cheese, Dairyland Farmers Cheese, Smoked Mozzarella, Fresh Mozzarella, Burrata, Hickory Grove, Carolina Moon, Smoked Farmers Cheese, New Moon, and Pheta.

Salmonella Outbreak in King, Kitsap, Pierce, Spokane and other Counties

Last month, Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department learned of a foodborne illness outbreak in Snohomish County associated with food supplied by a Pierce County caterer, Mr. Rick’s Catering. The state Department of Health continues to investigate the outbreak, which could impact as many as 175 people in King, Kitsap, Pierce, Spokane, and other counties. While the effort to learn how many people were sickened is still underway, laboratory tests have confirmed the illness is Salmonella.

Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department has notified Mr. Rick’s Catering not to operate several times since 2012, and as a result of the incident in Snohomish County, recently issued a $710 fee for continuing to operate without a permit. In the interest of protecting public health, and because the business owner continues to advertise as a viable business, Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department has opted to name the unpermitted caterer.

“Public health focuses on keeping people safe in places where they live, learn, work and play,” said Jefferson Ketchel, environmental health director for the Snohomish Health District. “Public health partners around the region work together to advance food safety and give residents information they need to make informed decisions when eating out.”

Sprout Salmonella Outbreak in Colorado, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, Oregon, Texas and Wyoming

Thirty people infected with the outbreak strains of Salmonella have been reported from nine states – Colorado 13, Kansas 8, Minnesota 1, Missouri 1, Nebraska 2, New York 1, Oregon 1, Texas 1 and Wyoming 2.

Of those ill people, 24 were infected with Salmonella Reading, 1 was infected with Salmonella Abony, and 5 were infected with both.

Illnesses started on dates ranging from May 21, 2016 to July 20, 2016. Ill people range in age from less than 1 year to 72, with a median age of 30. Fifty-three percent of ill people are female. Five ill people have been hospitalized, and no deaths have been reported.

Epidemiologic and traceback evidence available at this time indicate that alfalfa sprouts supplied by Sprouts Extraordinaire of Denver, Colorado are the likely source of this outbreak. Ill people in the current outbreak reported eating raw alfalfa sprouts on sandwiches from several different restaurants.

Federal, state, and local health and regulatory officials performed a traceback investigation from five restaurants where ill people reported eating alfalfa sprouts. This investigation indicated that Sprouts Extraordinaire supplied alfalfa sprouts to all five of these locations.

On August 5, 2016, Sprouts Extraordinaire recalled its alfalfa sprout products from the market due to possible Salmonella contamination. These products were sold in 5-pound boxes labeled “Living Alfalfa Sprouts.” CDC recommends that restaurants and other retailers do not sell or serve and consumers do not eat recalled alfalfa sprouts supplied by Sprouts Extraordinaire.

According the FDA’s own 1999 advisory, Recommendations on Sprouted Seeds, sprouts have been increasingly implicated in foodborne outbreaks.  Perhaps it is time for a sprout warning?

Barfblog does a great job of tracking sprout outbreak through 2012.  Outbreak Database carries on – through 2014.

Chapel Hill Creamery Salmonella Outbreak may impact over 100

The Chapel Hill Creamery in Chapel Hill, NC, is recalling all of its cheese products because they have been linked to a growing Salmonella outbreak in North Carolina and elsewhere.

A local county health officer said Thursday that the outbreak has sickened at least 50 people in North Carolina and about the same number in other states, and that it’s the same strain found in samples of raw milk from the Chapel Hill Creamery. Nine of those sickened in North Carolina have been hospitalized so far, she said.

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photography-jersey-cows-farm-field-image819287
These Jersey cows are the same kind as those at the Chapel Hill Creamery.
“This is way more than usual, which is why we started doing the investigation. We hit clusters of Salmonella, especially in the summertime, but we started seeing dozens and that’s when we started doing questionnaires to identify a common source,” said Colleen Bridger, director of the Orange County Health Department in Chapel Hill.

Bridger said not all of the 50-plus in-state cases have been interviewed, but the “vast majority” of those who have recalled eating cheese from the Chapel Hill Creamery.

“We’ve been monitoring the Salmonella cases for about three weeks and started doing questionnaires about a week ago, and it was just yesterday that we felt we had enough information to say this is probably the Chapel Hill Creamery. We didn’t want to make the declaration until we were sure,” she added.

The products being recalled include all codes, packages and sizes of 14 varieties of cheese manufactured by the Chapel Hill Creamery and distributed through retail locations, farmers markets and restaurants throughout North Carolina, Tennessee, South Carolina, Virginia and Georgia.

The cheese varieties are: Quark, Danziger, Swiss, Paneer, Calvander, Hot Farmers Cheese, Dairyland Farmers Cheese, Smoked Mozzarella, Fresh Mozzarella, Burrata, Hickory Grove, Carolina Moon, Smoked Farmers Cheese, New Moon, and Pheta.

“Although there is not yet a definitive link between the CHC cheese and the illnesses, there is enough evidence to implicate the cheese and we are asking customers to not consume these cheeses or use them in food service,” said Portia McKnight, Creamery co-founder.

Chapel Hill Creamery has asked its wholesale customers to remove any CHC cheese from their shelves and dispose of it. Consumers who have this product in their home should not consume it and should throw it away.

Customers are also being reminded to thoroughly wash their hands and any utensils or equipment that may have contacted the cheese in warm, soapy water.

Chapel Hill Creamery is working in cooperation with the North Carolina Department of Agriculture, North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, and the Orange County Health Department to identify the source of the Salmonella and which of its cheeses are affected.

The Creamery plans to provide updated information on its website as it becomes available.

Chapel Hill Creamery cheeseBridger noted that some of the Creamery’s cheese products are made with raw milk and some are not. She also said it was the first such incident she knows of involving the local business.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is aware of the outbreak and has been assisting the other states, Bridger said, while North Carolina state and local health officials are coordinating on their part of the investigation.

“We’re working with public health and with agriculture to try and figure out what the next step is to make sure we’ve resolved the problem and that they can resume production and selling their cheese again,” she said.

Orange County has provided a hotline at (919) 245-2378 for anyone in North Carolina who has questions about the outbreak.

Most persons infected with Salmonella experience fever, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. People who are concerned they might have Salmonella infections should contact their doctor to discuss testing and treatment.

The illness typically lasts four to seven days, and most people recover without treatment. However, in some people, the diarrhea may be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized.

Two More Salmonella Outbreaks

Cheese in North Carolina, Tennessee, South Carolina, Virginia and Georgia.

Chapel Hill Creamery in Chapel Hill, NC, is recalling all of its cheese products because they have been linked to a growing Salmonella outbreak in North Carolina and elsewhere.

A local county health officer said Thursday that the outbreak has sickened at least 50 people in North Carolina and about the same number in other states, and that it’s the same strain found in samples of raw milk from the Chapel Hill Creamery. Nine of those sickened in North Carolina have been hospitalized so far, she said.

“This is way more than usual, which is why we started doing the investigation. We hit clusters of Salmonella, especially in the summertime, but we started seeing dozens and that’s when we started doing questionnaires to identify a common source,” said Colleen Bridger, director of the Orange County Health Department in Chapel Hill.

Bridger said not all of the 50-plus in-state cases have been interviewed, but the “vast majority” of those who have recalled eating cheese from the Chapel Hill Creamery.

“We’ve been monitoring the Salmonella cases for about three weeks and started doing questionnaires about a week ago, and it was just yesterday that we felt we had enough information to say this is probably the Chapel Hill Creamery. We didn’t want to make the declaration until we were sure,” she added.

The products being recalled include all codes, packages and sizes of 14 varieties of cheese manufactured by the Chapel Hill Creamery and distributed through retail locations, farmers markets and restaurants throughout North Carolina, Tennessee, South Carolina, Virginia and Georgia.

The cheese varieties are: Quark, Danziger, Swiss, Paneer, Calvander, Hot Farmers Cheese, Dairyland Farmers Cheese, Smoked Mozzarella, Fresh Mozzarella, Burrata, Hickory Grove, Carolina Moon, Smoked Farmers Cheese, New Moon, and Pheta.

Potato Salad in Iowa.

The Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals (DIA) and the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) today jointly issued a consumer advisory for potato salads made in and sold by Big G Food Store in Marengo, Iowa.  Big G’s “Zesty Potato Salad” and “Traditional Potato Salad” have been implicated in several cases of foodborne illness reported in Iowa County.  Presumptive test results from the State Hygienic Laboratory at the University of Iowa indicate the presence of salmonella in these products.

Big G Food Store has voluntarily pulled the potato salads from its shelves, and is working with the state departments in the investigation of the reported illnesses.  The suspect salads were prepared in the store during the month of July.  Neither potato salad has been sold to the consuming public since last Friday evening, DIA Food & Consumer Safety Bureau Chief Steven Mandernach said.

IDPH is investigating several cases of possible illness associated with the potato salad. “The bottom line is that no one should eat this product,” said IDPH Medical Director, Dr. Patricia Quinlisk. “If you have it in your refrigerator, you should throw it away.”

Ajuua’s Restaurant Linked to as many as two dozen Salmonella Illnesses

Screen Shot 2016-06-14 at 10.53.07 PMAccording to Food Safety News, at least eleven people, including seven employees of Ajuua’s Mexican Restaurant, are confirmed with Salmonella infections related to the restaurant.

The root cause of the outbreak was still unknown, but that fresh tomatoes and/or salsa made and served at the restaurant in Odessa, Texas.

It is not known if the employees who tested positive for Salmonella carried the pathogen into the restaurant or picked it up there.

Three of the restaurant’s patrons required hospitalization because their symptoms were so severe.

As many as 23 other possible outbreak victims had been identified as of Monday.

Most people infected with Salmonella develop abdominal cramps, fever and diarrhea 12 to 72 hours after being exposed to the bacteria, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Children under the age of 5, adults older than 65, and people with weakened immune systems are at increased risk of severe symptoms and death.

Salmonella Outbreak at Ajuua’s Mexican Restaurant

According to Odessa press, Ector County Texas Health Department Director Gino Solla said Friday afternoon the total number of people who have lab-confirmed cases of Salmonella has increased by one, bringing the total number to three.  Solla also said the restaurant where the people got the illness was Ajuua’s Mexican Restaurant. The restaurant, at the request of the health department, closed their doors Monday after complaints were made by residents who said they got sick after eating at the restaurant on June 1. Solla said there are also 24 probable cases.

The investigation started around 4:15 p.m. June 3 after officials with the health department got a call saying 10 people had gotten sick after eating at Ajuua’s, Solla said. After getting reports one person in that group did have salmonella, they visited the restaurant and asked them to voluntarily close down.

Ajuua’s CEO Julian Rubio said the restaurant is scheduled to open at 9 a.m. Saturday.

Minnesota Salmonella Outbreak Tied to Taylor Farms Organic Kale

Pacific Coast Fruit Company posted the following recall notice:

Reason:  Salmonella

Pack/Codes:  The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) are investigating an outbreak of foodborne illnesses associated with eating Taylor Farms Organic Kale Medley “power greens” mix in Minnesota. The mix contains spinach, kale, chard, and shredded carrots.

Distribution:  [Nationwide U.S.]: Sam’s Club pulled Taylor Farms Organic Kale Medley from store shelves nationwide on April 4 and is notifying customers who purchased the product in Minnesota since March 1.

Illnesses:  [Illnesses Reported]: Six people with Salmonella Enteritidis infections with the same rare DNA fingerprint pattern were reported to MDH in April. The people range in age from 7 to 69 and are from Dakota, Hennepin, Itasca, Olmsted and St. Louis counties. Their illnesses began between April 3 and April 26. One person was hospitalized, and all are recovering. Five of the ill people in Minnesota reported eating Taylor Farms Organic Kale Medley purchased at several Sam’s Club locations, and the source of the sixth person’s illness is under investigation.

According to the FDA website, Kale was also recalled by Trader Joe’s due to Salmonella concerns.

Trader Joe’s Recalls Kale and Edamame Salad

WCD Kitchen, LLC of Fontana, California is voluntarily recalling Trader Joe’s Kale & Edamame Salad (UPC 00967112), sold only in the Midwest, with a “USE BY May 05, 2016 through May 14, 2016”, because the product may be contaminated with Salmonella.  No illnesses have been reported to date.

Salmonella is an organism that can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Healthy persons infected with Salmonella often experience fever, diarrhea (which may be bloody), nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. In rare circumstances, infection with Salmonella can result in the organism getting into the bloodstream and producing more severe illnesses such as arterial infections (i.e., infected aneurysms), endocarditis and arthritis.

The 3,763 salads possibly affected were distributed to Trader Joe’s stores located in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio and Wisconsin.  No other lots, products or stores are affected.

The salad is packaged in 10 oz. plastic clamshell and the “Use By” Date is stickered on the front of the label. See photos below.

The voluntary recall was initiated by WCD Kitchen, LLC immediately after it was informed by the Kale supplier, Pearson Foods Corporation, that the Kale tested positive for the food-borne illness.

Salmonella Prompts Tea Recall

The Republic of Tea is dedicated to the health and wellness of each and every citizen (customer). As such, we are issuing a voluntary recall of our Organic Turmeric Ginger Green Tea in response to a possible health risk. There have been no illnesses reported in connection with this voluntary recall. No other teas are impacted by this recall.

The Republic of Tea was notified by one of our suppliers, of the possibility that one lot of its organic ginger ingredient may be contaminated with Salmonella bacteria. Salmonella is an organism, which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Healthy persons infected with Salmonella often experience fever, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain.

The organic ginger supplier reported this finding from another customer. The Republic of Tea and the organic ginger supplier have conducted their own investigations and have tested numerous samples of organic ginger by accredited independent third party laboratories and confirmed the absence of Salmonella.

Despite the fact it was confirmed that there is no Salmonella in the organic ginger that was tested, The Republic of Tea is taking the precautionary measure to recall the following Organic Turmeric Ginger Green Tea:

Organic Turmeric Ginger Green Tea – 50 CT Tin UPC: 7-42676-40355-5 – Best Sipped by March 23, 2018
Organic Turmeric Ginger – 250 CT Bulk Bag UPC: 7-42676-30655-9 – Best Sipped by March 23, 2018
Organic Turmeric Ginger – 250 CT Bulk Bag UPC: 7-42676-30655-9 – Best Sipped by April 13, 2018
Organic Turmeric Ginger – 50 CT Refill Bag UPC: 7-42676-42155-9 – Best Sipped by March 23, 2018