UPDATE – On May 4, the Bruncombe County Health Department has declared Similing Hara tempeh the source of the Salmonella Paratyphi B outbreak. At least 46 people have become ill with Salmonella Paratyphi B infections, and 7 have been hospitalized, after eating Smiling Hara tempeh.
UPDATE – As of May 1, Buncombe County Department of Health reports 37 cases of Salmonella Paratyhpi B infection and continues to test and investigate people coming forward with symptoms of salmonella infection, some who ate tempeh and others who did not eat tempeh. The case interviews indicate that the disease transmission is linked to the outbreak in one of three ways: those who have eaten tempeh, those who have connections to others who have been ill with Salmonella Paratyphi b (person-to-person) and others that are under further investigation to determine if there are other sources of contamination associated with the outbreak.
Salmonella Paratyphi B illnesses from North and South Carolina, Tennessee and New York climbed to 34 as the investigation focused on tempeh produced by Smiling Hara soybean tempeh. Blue Ridge Food Ventures, the shared use kitchen where Smiling Hara issued a press release stating that they are aware of the investigation, have ceased operation. The North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services also announced today the voluntary recall of the 12-ounce packages of Smiling Hara unpasteurized soybean tempeh. The company says anyone with packages marked with a best-by date of 7/11/12 through 10/25/12 should return the product. Dozens of people have become sick recently after a Salmonella outbreak traced back to the Asheville area. The recall was prompted after samples during a routine inspection tested positive for salmonella.