The Salmonella I 4,[5],12:i:- outbreak in Washington State, which has been linked to pork produced by Kapowsin Meats, has grown by 18 cases, bringing the total case count to 152, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) today.

Salmonella bacteria (red)/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
Salmonella bacteria (red)/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)

24 people required hospitalization for their illness. No deaths have been reported.

USDA sampling at Kapowsin Meats revealed positive results for Salmonella I 4,[5],12:i:- on whole pigs for barbeque, associated pork products, and throughout the establishment. Kapowsin Meats has voluntarily suspended operations.

As a result of the ongoing investigation, on August 27, 2015, Kapowsin Meats issued an expanded recall of approximately 523,380 pounds of pork products that may be contaminated with Salmonella I 4,[5],12:i:-. Recalled pork products include whole pigs for barbeque and fabricated pork products including various pork offal products, pork blood, and pork trim.

100 percent of isolates tested were multidrug resistant. This included resistance to ampicillin, streptomycin, sulfisoxazole, and tetracycline. Antibiotic resistance may be associated with increased risk of hospitalization, development of a bloodstream infection, or treatment failure in patients.

Salmonella spp. represent one of the most common causes of bacterial foodborne illnesses around the world. The species Salmonella enterica contains more than 2500 serotypes, and emergence of new human pathogenic Salmonella strains and serotypes represents a major public health issue. Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica serotype 4,5,12:i:– represents a monophasic variant of Salmonella Typhimurium, which has rarely been identified before the mid- 1990s. The prevalence of this serotype among human salmonellosis cases has increased considerably since the mid-1990s and Salmonella 4,5,12:i:– currently represents one of the most common serotypes among human cases in many countries around the world

The CDC advises consumers to check their homes and freezers for the recalled pork products and should not cook or eat them. Retailers should not sell these products and restaurants should not serve them. Consumers with questions regarding the recall can contact John Anderson at Kapowsin Meats at (253) 847-1777.

Robert Herriman is a microbiologist and the Editor-in-Chief of Outbreak News Today

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