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Salmonella Blog Surveillance & Analysis on Salmonella News & Outbreaks

ConAgra Banquet and Great Value Pot Pie Outbreak Update

Investigation of Outbreak of Human Infections Caused by Salmonella I 4,[5],12:i:-

CDC is collaborating with public health officials in multiple states across the United States and with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service to investigate an ongoing multi-state outbreak of Salmonella I 4,[5],12:i:- (pronounced “four five twelve eye minus”) infections in humans. An investigation that used interviews comparing foods eaten by ill and well persons is showing that eating Banquet brand pot pies produced by the ConAgra Foods company is the likely source of the illness.

Between January 1, 2007 and October 29, 2007, at least 272 isolates of Salmonella I 4,[5],12:i:- with an indistinguishable genetic fingerprint have been collected from ill persons in 35 states. Ill persons whose Salmonella strain has this genetic fingerprint have been reported from Arizona (1 person), Arkansas (4), California (18), Colorado (9), Connecticut (7), Delaware (5), Florida (2), Georgia (2), Idaho (11), Illinois (7), Indiana (3), Iowa (1), Kansas (4), Kentucky (9), Massachusetts (7), Maryland (7), Maine (2), Michigan (3), Minnesota (7), Missouri (18), Montana (6), Nevada (6), New York (10), North Carolina (2), Ohio (11), Oklahoma (1), Oregon (4), Pennsylvania (18), Tennessee (6), Texas (4), Utah (12), Virginia (9), Vermont (2), Washington (27), Wisconsin (24), Wyoming (3). Their ages range from <1 to 89 years with a median age of 18 years; 51% of ill persons are female. At least 65 people have been hospitalized.

  • John Munsell

    I have a difficult question to pose to anyone sincerely interested in public health. How long will this nation dilly dally around and ask the absurd question “Why so many Salmonella and E.coli outbreaks this year?” This past Friday, November 16 USDA/FSIS posted results of agency-conducted Salmonella tests for the previous 3-month period. To no one’s surprise, 80.0 % of all Ground Chicken samples collected at “Large” category plants tested positive for Salmonella. In stark contrast, only 16.7 % of samples collected at “Small” category plants tested positive. Couple this with the fact that only five E.coli recalls occurred in 2005, 8 in 2006, while we’ve already experienced 19 in 2007. Not an exemplary picture of alleged successes resulting from USDA’s deregulated and supposedly “science based” HACCP system of non-inspection. It is imperative that we acknowledge that E.coli and Salmonella are “Enteric” bacteria. By definition these bacteria emanate from within animals’ intestines, meaning in all likelihood the bacteria were introduced into the food chain because of sloppy dressing procedures at the source originating slaughter plants. Down stream plants have no intestines or manure-covered hides on their premises. USDA publicly admitted in the mid-90’s that its role under the HACCP umbrella would be “Hands Off”, and the Slaughter establishments are direct beneficiaries of USDA’s unwillingness to maintain a meaningful presence at the slaughter plants. Since HACCP’s inception, USDA has intentionally forwarded all liability for contaminated food downline to further processors, retailers, the HRI industry, and of course lazy consumers who allegedly lack the common sense to fully cook invisible manure. How long will we insulate the big slaughter establishments from liability? Just as importantly, how long will be passively endorse USDA’s intentionally designed non-inspection protocol which prevents them from implementing enforcement actions against the truly negligent source slaughter facilities? Look me in the eye! You, and everyone like you who focus on the unwitting DESTINATIONS of contamination rather than FORCING THE SOURCE to implement corrective actions to prevent recurrences are guilty of maintaining this unhealthy status quo! If you want to know why recurring outbreaks occur……look in the mirror. Until YOU develop the courage to demand a divorce between USDA and the huge packers, consumers will continue to get sick, some will die. The agency and the multi-national packers are involved in a bi-lateral voluntary incest. They are in bed with each other, and YOU are not willing to confront and expose them. Nah, it’s much easier to sue the downstream retailers and restaurants which are merely the unwitting recipients of previously-contaminated meat. My bet is that very few of YOU will be willing to Force The Source, but will smugly continue to Sue the Destination. You, and consumers, deserve whatever they eat. John W. Munsell, Manager, Foundation for Accountability in Regulatory Enforcement (FARE)