In a follow-up to the report of a multistate Salmonella Enteritidis outbreak primarily affecting states in the northeastern United States, at least two states have issued press releases concerning their individual situations.
In New Hampshire, at least four people have been identified by the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Public Health Services (DPHS) as being linked to a multistate outbreak involving bean sprouts consumption in restaurants.
“The Division of Public Health Services will continue to investigate to identify any other potential cases and has notified the New Hampshire Grocers Association and the New Hampshire Restaurant and Lodging Association so that the product is removed from consumption” said Dr. José Montero, Director of Public Health at DPHS. “Sprouts are a known source of foodborne illness, so if you are not sure of the origin of any sprouts, it is best to throw them out rather than risk consuming a contaminated product.”
In neighboring Vermont, Department of Health officials announced three cases in Vermont that have been associated with the implicated bean sprouts.
The CDC reports that a total of 63 people from 10 states (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Montana, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont) have been infected with the outbreak strain of salmonella.
Based on the investigation by the CDC, FDA and state health departments, it points to bean sprouts produced by Wonton Foods, Inc. of Brooklyn, New York as being the likely source of this outbreak. As of Friday, Wonton Foods has verbally agreed to voluntarily stop the production and sale of their bean sprouts.
The CDC is recommending that restaurants and other retailers do not sell or serve sprouts produced by Wonton Foods, Inc. at this time. Consumers are encouraged to cook any sprouts and children, older adults, pregnant women, and persons with weakened immune systems should always avoid eating raw sprouts of any kind due to their increased risk of illness fromSalmonella.
Salmonella causes diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps usually 12 to 72 hours after infection. The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days, and most people recover without treatment. However, in some cases, the diarrhea may be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized. In these patients, the Salmonella infection may spread from the intestines to the blood stream, and then to other body sites and can cause death unless the patient is treated promptly with antibiotics.
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