Salmonella Information

Greg Pratt of the Chicago Tribune reports that public health officials are investigating a Salmonella outbreak linked to the Jewel Osco store in Tinley Park after nine people recently became ill.  Amy Poore, spokeswoman for the Cook County Department of Public Health, said the county is investigating after some food items were linked back to the Jewel at 171st Street and Harlem Avenue.

Jewel officials temporarily closed the store’s service deli Wednesday.

The CDC reports a total of 12 persons infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Newport have been reported from 7 states: Arizona (1), California (2), Connecticut (1), Massachusetts (1), New York (4), Utah (1), and Wisconsin (2).

Collaborative investigation efforts of state, local, and federal public health and regulatory agencies indicate that organic sprouted chia powder distributed by Navitas Naturals of Novato, California is the likely source of this outbreak. Chia powder is made from ground dried chia seeds.  The FDA announced a recall.  The affected products were distributed nationally and include:

  • Navitas Naturals Organic Sprouted Chia Powder, 8oz, UPC 858847000369 with best buy dates from 04/30/2015 through 09/05/2015
  • Navitas Naturals Omega Blend Sprouted Smoothie Mix, 8oz, UPC 858847000314 with best buy dates from 07/29/2015 through 09/19/2015
  • Williams-Sonoma Omega 3 Smoothie Mixer, 8 oz, SKU 506436 with best buy dates from 09/12/2015 through 10/02/2015

The Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service requests comments on changes to its Salmonella and E. coli testing procedures for raw beef products, the agency announced.

The modified testing will be used to conduct a risk assessment and to develop new standards for Salmonella in beef. The FSIS’s action comes after a December 2011, multi-state outbreak of the disease linked to a multi-drug resistant strain that caused 19 people in the northeast U.S. to get sick. In June 2012, the agency was notified of 50 cases of Salmonella enteriditis across nine states. All were connected to ground beef consumption, according to the agency’s action.

The FSIS previously used two different testing procedures for raw beef, but has announced its intention to combine them into one. Now, the Salmonella sampling set procedures for ground beef products will be discontinued, “except in establishments with results that exceeded the standard for Salmonella in that establishment’s most recently completed sample set,” according to the FSIS’s action.

The FSIS’s previous inspection program involved the collection of random samples of raw beef that were sent to laboratories for analysis over a defined number of sequential days of production to complete a sample set, according to the agency.

The agency, however, is enhancing its procedures by combining Salmonella testing procedures with those for Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC).

“Therefore, FSIS will begin analyzing for Salmonella all samples of raw ground beef, beef manufacturing trimmings, bench trim, and other raw ground beef components that its personnel collect for STEC testing, including raw ground beef products FSIS samples at retail stores and ground beef, trim, and other raw ground beef components FSIS samples at import establishments,” the action notes.

As a result, the agency will need to take a larger sample of the raw ground beef, collecting 325 grams instead of only 25 grams, which increases the likelihood of detecting positive samples. The new procedures will be more effective compared to carcass testing, the agency said.

In addition, the agency will save money, it said. “The changes that FSIS is announcing to its Salmonella sampling procedures will permit FSIS to analyze more samples at the same time for lower agency costs than the present method,” the FSIS said in its action.

The new procedures will be conducted for three months and then used to conduct a risk assessment enroute to developing a revised Salmonella performance standard.

“FSIS is considering moving Salmonella sampling from a set-based approach to a continuous sampling and ‘moving window’ approach for all classes of products subject to FSIS sampling and testing for Salmonella,” the agency said. “This approach will allow FSIS more flexibility in scheduling and collecting samples.”

The agency is also considering extending Salmonella testing to pork trim, pork parts, ground pork, chicken parts and lamb carcasses, but would start by sampling to assess the prevalence of the disease in those products.

Salmonella bacteria are among the most frequently reported causes of foodborne illnesses, according to the agency.

Comments are due by Sept. 27, and there will be no comment extensions.

Interim Report

Linh Nguyen, PhD, MPH, Epidemiologist

April 30, 2013

BACKGROUND

On April 26, 2013, the Southern Nevada Health District (SNHD), Office of Epidemiology (OOE) received reports of gastrointestinal illness from eight independent groups of patrons of Firefly on Paradise or the adjacent affiliated restaurant Dragonfly on Paradise (Firefly) located at 3900 Paradise Road, Las Vegas, NV 89109. All patrons from these groups ate at the restaurant during April 21-24, 2013. Ill patrons reported symptoms of diarrhea and/or vomiting after they consumed food from Firefly restaurant, and many sought medical care for their illness. In response to these illness reports, the SNHD initiated an investigation.

On April 26, 2013, the SNHD performed an investigative inspection and closed Firefly andDragonfly restaurants to minimize ongoing risk of illness. The SNHD OOE, Environmental Health (EH) and Southern Nevada Public Health Laboratory (SNPHL) have been collaborating on the investigation and response to this outbreak. The Nevada State Health Division was also apprised of the outbreak investigation.

METHODS

Epidemiology: OOE staff performed telephone interviews with ill patrons to obtain more information regarding symptoms, food history, and illnesses among restaurant patrons. The SNHD foodborne illness complaint database was searched to identify other complaints against the restaurant in the 30 days prior to these complaints.

On April 26, 2013, OOE and EH staff visited the restaurant. OOE staff interviewed restaurant management and other employees regarding their illnesses in the past two weeks, their current illness status, their knowledge of other recent illnesses in restaurant staff and patrons, whether the restaurant had a sick employee policy, and if there were other customer complaints of illness.

A case is defined as illness in a person who consumed food served by Firefly restaurant during April 21-26, 2013 and experienced diarrhea (defined as ≥ 3 bouts of loose stools) and/or ≥ 1 episodes of vomiting during a 72-hour period after eating.In order to perform a case-control study and do additional case-finding, OOE staff identified additional restaurant patrons who dined at Firefly during April 21-24, 2013 via contact information from OpenTable, an online restaurant reservation system.

Environmental Health: EH staff performed inspections of Firefly and Dragonfly restaurants on April 26, 2013 and an ongoing risk assessment for foodborne illness.

Laboratory: Ill restaurant guests and staff were requested to provide stool specimens for bacterial culture (Salmonella, Shigella, Campylobacter, Escherichia coli O157, Yersinia, and Vibrio), Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) testing, and norovirus RT-PCR testing.

Food specimens were collected for submission to the Nevada State Public Health Laboratory for pathogen testing.

RESULTS

Epidemiology: The epidemiologic curve to date is presented in the figure below, and shows the total of 86 identified ill persons who ate at Firefly during April 21-26, 2013.

A total of 40 employees worked the dinner shift at Firefly on April 26, 2013. Of these, 33 were interviewed including three employees who were identified as having been recently ill with gastrointestinal symptoms; these workers were asked to submit stool specimens.

The restaurant has a sick employee policy and employees may call-in sick when necessary.  There was one customer complaint of illness to the restaurant. Thirty-three patron phone numbers were obtained from the OpenTable online reservations.

Environmental Health: Firefly restaurant uses two adjacent permitted kitchens, Firefly on Paradise (SNHD Permit Number PR0013375) and Dragonfly on Paradise (SNHD Permit Number PR0015008), to prepare food for their customers. The inspection found that numerous conditions existed that could contribute to an outbreak of a foodborne disease and included:

Inadequate holding of food, inadequate cooling, improper handwashing, employee bare hand contact with ready to eat food, improper food storage practices, improper cleaning practices, and improper thawing of food.

The results of the inspection were 44 demerits for Firefly and 47 demerits for Dragonfly on Paradise. Both facilities were closed by SNHD for excessive demerits and for being associated with a large cluster of reports of illness (SNHD Regulations Governing the Sanitation of Food Establishments 8-304.11).

Thirty samples of various foods were collected during the inspection and submitted to the SNPHL for possible testing to determine which food item(s) could have been the source of the illness.

Inspections were also conducted on April 29, 2013 of the two other Firefly restaurant outlets located in Clark County. Firefly Westside located at 9560 W. Sahara, Las Vegas received 30 demerits, and Firefly on Eastern located at 11261 S. Eastern received 6 demerits.

Laboratory: Of the 14 stool specimens collected from ill restaurant patrons, seven were positive for Salmonella species, one was negative for Salmonella, and results of six samples are pending.

The SNPHL submitted eight food items collected from Firefly restaurant to the Nevada State Public Health Laboratory for analyses.

CONCLUSIONS

At least 86 patrons and 3 employees who consumed food and/or drinks at Firefly during April 21-25, 2013 may have contracted Salmonella infection.

FUTURE ACTIONS

1.  Firefly should rectify faulty food storage equipment and practices to ensure that food will be maintained at proper temperatures.

2.  The SNHD OOE staff will continue to collect information about customers who ate at Firefly during April 21-26, 2013 to establish illness occurrences among restaurant  patrons, and to conduct a case-control study to identify specific food item(s), if any, were associated with illness.

3.  The SNHD EH staff will continue to review Firefly’s food preparation methods to identify possible lapses in food safety procedures, and to require restaurant management to provide and implement a comprehensive food safety plan.

4.  The SNHD OOE staff will continue to monitor the foodborne illness database for additional complaints of illness to determine whether the outbreak is limited to this establishment or has spread to the general community.

5.  The SNPHL will perform pulsed field gel electrophoresis on the submitted specimens that were positive for Salmonella to determine if illnesses among patrons from the different groups were linked.

RECOMMENDATIONS

1.  Food-service workers who test positive for Salmonella must be excluded or restricted from work per the FDA Food Code, and will require approval from the SNHD to return to work.

2.  Restaurant employees should also be cautioned about how Salmonella is transmitted and be made aware of the heightened importance of hand hygiene through washing with soap and water. Information about salmonellosis can be found at the SNHD website http://www.southernnevadahealthdistrict.org/health-topics/salmonellosis.php

3.  Food service workers should also be educated to the ways to clean and sanitize food preparation surfaces. Types of acceptable sanitizer solutions for use in a food establishment are located at the SNHD website http://www.southernnevadahealthdistrict.org/ferl/sanitizer-fact-sheet.php

4.  The restaurants are advised to cook all potentially hazardous foods thoroughly. Menu items intended not to be cooked to the recommended temperatures should be noted on menus, with an appropriate warning to consumers about the potential health hazards of eating undercooked foods.

5.  All suspected cases of Salmonella infection related to this outbreak should be reported  to the health authority. Illness clusters (e.g. restaurants, schools, hotels) are reportable.

Since June 4, 2012, a total of 124 individuals infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Heidelberg have been reported from 12 states. Most of the ill persons have been reported from two states, Washington (56) and Oregon (38). At this time, CDC is not releasing the names of the other states until it is determined how these illnesses are linked to this outbreak.  Washington and Oregon Departments of Health have reported that this outbreak has been linked to chicken produced in Foster Farms plants in Washington and California.

Among 124 persons for whom information is available, illness onset dates range from June 4, 2012, to January 6, 2013. Ill persons range in age from less than 1 year to 94 years, with a median age of 23 years. Fifty-five percent of ill persons are female. Among 97 persons with available information, 31 (32%) reported being hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.

CDC is collaborating with public health officials in many states and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA-FSIS) to investigate a multistate outbreak of Salmonella Heidelberg infections. Public health investigators are using DNA “fingerprints” of Salmonella bacteria obtained through diagnostic testing with pulsed-field gel electrophoresis, or PFGE, to identify cases of illness that may be part of this outbreak. They are using data from PulseNet, the national subtyping network made up of state and local public health laboratories and federal food regulatory laboratories that performs molecular surveillance of foodborne infections.

Salmonella:  Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of Salmonella outbreaks. The Salmonella lawyers of Marler Clark have represented thousands of victims of Salmonella and other foodborne illness outbreaks and have recovered over $600 million for clients.  Marler Clark is the only law firm in the nation with a practice focused exclusively on foodborne illness litigation.  Our Salmonella lawyers have litigated Salmonella cases stemming from outbreaks traced to a variety of foods, such as cantaloupe, tomatoes, ground turkey, salami, sprouts, cereal, peanut butter, and food served in restaurants.  The law firm has brought Salmonella lawsuits against such companies as Cargill, ConAgra, Peanut Corporation of America, Sheetz, Taco Bell, Subway and Wal-Mart.

If you or a family member became ill with a Salmonella infection, including Reactive Arthritis or Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), after consuming food and you’re interested in pursuing a legal claim, contact the Marler Clark Salmonella attorneys for a free case evaluation.

Multistate Outbreak of Salmonella Linked to Cantaloupe – 261 Sick, 3 Dead
On Friday, August 17, 2012 public health officials in several states and the FDA announced a multistate outbreak of Salmonella Typhimurium linked to cantaloupe grown in southwestern Indiana.…Read More »

Salmonella Braenderup linked to Daniella brand mangoes, US and Canada – 127 Sick
On August 24, 2012 public health investigators in Canada announced an outbreak of Salmonella serotype Braenderup associated with consumption of Daniella brand mangoes. Canadian investigators reported 17 case patients in British Columbia and 5 cases.…Read More »

Multistate Outbreak of Salmonella Bredeney Linked to Sunland, Inc. Nut Butters – 35 Sick
On September 22, 2012 the CDC announced a multistate outbreak of Samonella serotype Bredeney linked to Trader Joe’s Valencia Creamy Salted Peanut Butter.…Read More »

Salmonella Enteriditis Due to Contaminated Cargill Ground Beef – 40 Sick
On July 22, 2012 Cargill Meat Solutions announced a recall of 29,339 pounds of fresh ground beef products due to possible contamination with Salmonella Enteriditis. Using epidemiologic and tracback data public health investigators in 8 states.…Read More »

Moon Marine USA Corporation Raw Yellowfin Tuna Used for Sushi Sashimi Ceviche – 425 Sick
In April 2012 the CDC and FDA announced a multi-state outbreak of salmonellosis linked to consumption of frozen raw yellowfin tuna product known as Nakaochi Scrape distributed by Moon Marine USA Corporation.…Read More »

Salmonella:  Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of Salmonella outbreaks. The Salmonella lawyers of Marler Clark have represented thousands of victims of Salmonella and other foodborne illness outbreaks and have recovered over $600 million for clients.  Marler Clark is the only law firm in the nation with a practice focused exclusively on foodborne illness litigation.  Our Salmonella lawyers have litigated Salmonella cases stemming from outbreaks traced to a variety of foods, such as cantaloupe, tomatoes, ground turkey, salami, sprouts, cereal, peanut butter, and food served in restaurants.  The law firm has brought Salmonella lawsuits against such companies as Cargill, ConAgra, Peanut Corporation of America, Sheetz, Taco Bell, Subway and Wal-Mart.

If you or a family member became ill with a Salmonella infection, including Reactive Arthritis or Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), after consuming food and you’re interested in pursuing a legal claim, contact the Marler Clark Salmonella attorneys for a free case evaluation.

Bad Bug Book – Foodborne Pathogenic Microorganisms and Natural Toxins – Second Edition

Salmonella is a motile, non-sporeforming, Gram- negative, rod-shaped bacterium in the family Enterobacteriaceae and the tribe Salmonellae. Non-motile variants include S. Gallinarum and S. Pullorum. The genus Salmonella is divided into two species that can cause illness in humans:

Image (c) Dennis Kunkel Microscopy, Inc.

• S. enterica

• S. bongori
Salmonella enterica, which is of the greatest public 
health concern, is comprised of six subspecies:

o S. enterica subsp. enterica (I)

o S. enterica subsp. salamae (II)

o S. enterica subsp. arizonae (IIIa)

o S. enterica subsp. diarizonae (IIIb)

o S. enterica subsp. houtenae (IV)

o S. enterica subsp. indica (VI)

Salmonella is further subdivided into serotypes,
based on the Kaufmann-White typing scheme first
published in 1934, which differentiates Salmonella
strains by their surface and flagellar antigenic
properties. Salmonella spp. are commonly referred
to by their serotype names. For example,
Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica is further
divided into numerous serotypes, including S.
Enteritidis and S. Typhimurium, which are
common in the U.S. (Note that species names are
italicized, but serotype names are not.)

When
Kaufmann first proposed the scheme, 44 serotypes had been discovered. As of 2007, the number of serotypes discovered was 2,579.

2. Disease

Salmonella can cause two types of illness, depending on the serotype:
(1) nontyphoidal salmonellosis and (2) typhoid fever, both of which are described below. The 
symptoms of nontyphoidal salmonellosis can be quite unpleasant, but this illness is generally self-limiting among healthy people with intact immune systems (although it can cause life- threatening illness even in healthy people). Typhoid fever is more serious and has a higher mortality rate than does nontyphoidal salmonellosis.

Nontyphoidal Salmonellosis

• Caused by serotypes other than S. Typhi and S. Paratyphi A.

• Mortality: Generally less than 1%; however, S. Enteritidis has a 3.6% mortality rate in outbreaks in nursing homes and hospitals, with the elderly being particularly affected.

• Onset: 6 to 72 hours after exposure.

• Infective dose: As low as one cell, depending on age and health of host and strain 
differences among members of the genus.

• Symptoms: Nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, fever, headache.

• Duration: Symptoms generally last 4 to 7 days, with acute symptoms usually lasting 1 to 2 days or longer, depending on host factors, the dose ingested, and strain characteristics.

• Complications: (1) Dehydration and electrolyte imbalance may occur as a result of diarrhea and vomiting. This can lead to death in the very young, the elderly, and the immunocompromised, if not treated promptly. (2) In 2% of culture-proven cases, reactive arthritis (i.e., arthritis from an immune reaction to the infection – an autoimmune response – rather than directly from the infection itself) may follow 3 to 4 weeks after the onset of acute symptoms. Indications of reactive arthritis may include, for example, joint inflammation, urethritis, uveitis, and/or conjunctivitis. (3) Nontyphoidal Salmonella can sometimes escape from the gastrointestinal tract into the body and cause blood poisoning (septicemia) or infect the blood, internal organs, and/or joints (bacteremia). S. Dublin is sometimes associated with this complication.

• Route of entry: oral (e.g., ingestion of contaminated food, fecal particles, or contaminated water).

• Pathway: Penetration and passage of Salmonella organisms from gut lumen into epithelium of small intestine, where inflammation occurs. There is evidence that enterotoxin may be produced, perhaps within enterocytes.

Typhoid Fever

• Caused by serotypes S. Typhi and S. Paratyphi A, both of which are found only in humans.

• Mortality: Untreated, as high as 10%.

• Onset: Generally 1 to 3 weeks, but may be as long as 2 months after exposure.

• Infective dose: Fewer than 1,000 cells.

• Symptoms: High fever, from 103° to 104°F; lethargy; gastrointestinal symptoms, including abdominal pains and diarrhea or constipation; headache; achiness; loss of appetite. A rash of flat, rose-colored spots sometimes occurs.

• Duration: Generally 2 to 4 weeks.

• Illness / Complications: Septicemia, with colonization of other tissues and organs; e.g., may lead to endocarditis. Septic arthritis may occur, in which the infection directly affects the joints and may be difficult to treat. Chronic infection of the gallbladder may occur, which may cause the infected person to become a carrier.

• Route of entry: Oral (e.g., ingestion of contaminated food, fecal particles, or contaminated water).

• Pathway: Penetration and passage of typhoid Salmonella organisms from gut lumen into epithelium of small intestine and into the bloodstream (i.e., septicemia), which may carry the organisms to other sites in the body, where inflammation occurs. There is evidence that enterotoxin may be produced, perhaps within enterocytes. 
3. Frequency of Disease 
Annually in the United States:

Nontyphoidal salmonellosis – A recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 1,027,561 cases of domestically acquired nontyphoidal salmonellosis occur annually in the U.S., when under-reporting and under-diagnosis are taken into account.

Typhoid fever – In terms of domestically acquired S. enterica serotype Typhi, the CDC recently estimated that a mean of 1,821 cases occur annually in the U.S. Additional cases in the U.S. are associated with foreign travel. The report estimates that 433 cases of typhoid fever in the U.S., overall (i.e., whether or not they are domestically acquired), are culture-confirmed. The last case of a foodborne, noncarrier-based typhoid outbreak in the U.S. was in 1999 and was associated with the tropical fruit mamey. 
4. Sources 
Salmonella is widely dispersed in nature. It can colonize the intestinal tracts of vertebrates, including livestock, wildlife, domestic pets, and humans, and may also live in environments such as pond-water sediment. It is spread through the fecal-oral route and through contact with contaminated water. (Certain protozoa may act as a reservoir for the organism). It may, for example, contaminate meat, farm-irrigation water (thus contaminating produce in the field), soil and insects, factory equipment, hands, and kitchen surfaces and utensils. 
Since S. Typhi and S. Paratyphi A are found only in human hosts, the usual sources of these organisms in the environment are drinking and/or irrigation water contaminated by untreated sewage. It is highly recommended that only potable water and cooked vegetables be consumed in areas where these organisms are endemic. 
Various Salmonella species have long been isolated from the outside of egg shells, but S. Enteritidis can be present inside the egg. This and other information strongly suggest vertical transmission; i.e., deposition of the organism on the albumen (egg white) side of the yolk-sack membrane (vitelline membrane) by an infected hen, prior to shell formation.

Outbreaks also have been linked to the handling of certain animals sometimes kept as pets, such as turtles, frogs, and chicks.

Food Sources

Although Salmonella traditionally was thought of as being associated with animal products in the past, fresh produce also has been the source of major outbreaks, particularly recently. The organism also survives well on low-moisture foods, such as spices, which have been the vehicles for large outbreaks.

A few examples of foods that have been linked to Salmonella illness include meats, poultry, eggs, milk and dairy products, fish, shrimp, spices, yeast, coconut, sauces, unpasteurized salad dressings, cake mixes, cream-filled desserts and toppings that contain raw egg, dried gelatin, peanut butter, cocoa, produce (fruits and vegetables, such as tomatoes, peppers, and cantaloupes), and chocolate.

Cross Contamination

Cross contamination occurs when Salmonella is spread from a contaminated source – a contaminated food, infected food handler or animal – to other foods or objects in the environment. An example of how this may occur is when potentially contaminated raw meats, poultry, seafood, produce, or eggs are not kept separate from each other during preparation or cooking, or when a food handler does not adequately clean utensils, surfaces, equipment, and hands after they have come into contact with these products.

The contamination can spread to factory and equipment surfaces, as well as kitchen surfaces and utensils. Cross contamination may occur at any point in the food process.

Cross contamination also may occur from handling pets or wildlife, such as turtles or frogs (or their water, soil, or food and water bowls), then handling food, food-preparation utensils, or other objects in the environment. (Even culinary frog legs have caused outbreaks of salmonellosis.)

5. Diagnosis

Serological identification of cultural isolates from stool. Genetic identification of approximately 100 Salmonella serotypes from pure culture is now possible, but the remaining 2,400-plus serotypes can be identified only through traditional serotyping.

6. Target Populations

Anyone, of any age, may become infected with Salmonella. Particularly vulnerable are people with weak immune systems, such as the very young and the elderly, people with HIV or chronic illnesses, and people on some medications; for example, chemotherapy for cancer or the immunosuppressive drugs used to treat some types of arthritis. People with HIV are estimated to have salmonellosis at least 20 times more than does the general population and tend to have recurrent episodes.

7. Foods Analysis

Isolation and detection methods have been developed for many foods having prior history of Salmonella contamination. Conventional culture and identification methods may require 4 to 6 days for presumptive results. To screen foods, several rapid methods are available, which require 1 to 2 days. These rapid methods include antibody and molecular (DNA or RNA) based assays, but in most cases, require a cultural means to confirm the presence of Salmonella, for regulatory purposes.

8. Examples of Outbreaks

For information on recent outbreaks, see the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

9. Other Resources

• The CDC provides information about Salmonella, including information about preventing Salmonella Enteritidis infection, on avoiding salmonellosis from animal-handling, and typhoid fever.

• Loci index for genome Salmonella Enteritidis is available from GenBank.

Continue Reading Bad Bug Book – Foodborne Pathogenic Microorganisms and Natural Toxins – Second Edition – Salmonella species

Thank goodness for the AP and Mike Stobbe covering the CDC. He reports today that more Americans got food poisoning last year, with Salmonella cases driving the increase, the government reported Tuesday. Illness rates for the most common serious type of E. coli fell last year. There was a rise in cases caused by other strains of the bacteria, although that bump may just reflect more testing was done for them, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.Screen shot 2011-06-07 at 7.09.27 PM.pngAn unusually aggressive strain of E. coli is behind the current large outbreak of food poisoning in Europe, mostly in Germany. That strain has never caused an outbreak in the U.S.

The CDC estimates that 50 million Americans each year get sick from foodborne illnesses, including about 3,000 who die.

The report released Tuesday is based on foodborne infections in only 10 states, or about 15 percent of the American population. But it has information that other databases lack and is believed to be a good indicator of food poisoning trends.

More than 19,000 cases of food poisoning were reported in those states last year. That was up from 17,500 cases in 2009, and about 18,500 in 2008.

Last year, there were 4,200 hospitalizations and 68 deaths in those states.

One of the largest U.S. outbreaks last year involved salmonella tainted eggs that may have sickened as many as 56,000, according to a CDC estimate. That probably contributed to the increase seen in Tuesday’s report, said Dr. Christopher Braden, a CDC epidemiologist.

salmonella_bacteria.gifSalmonella is one of the most common enteric (intestinal) infections in the United States. Salmonellosis (the disease caused by Salmonella) is the second most common foodborne illness after Campylobacter infection. It is estimated that 1.4 million cases of salmonellosis occur each year in the U.S.; 95% of those cases are foodborne-related. Approximately 220 of each 1000 cases result in hospitalization and eight of every 1000 cases result in death. About 500 to 1,000 or 31% of all food-related deaths are caused by Salmonella infections each year. Salmonellosis is more common in the warmer months of the year.

Salmonella infection occurs when the bacteria are ingested, typically from food derived from infected food-animals, but it can also occur by ingesting the feces of an infected animal or person. Food sources include raw or undercooked eggs/egg products, raw milk or raw milk products, contaminated water, meat and meat products, and poultry. Raw fruits and vegetables contaminated during slicing have been implicated in several foodborne outbreaks.

Symptoms of Salmonella infection

Continue Reading Salmonella