Outbreak alert: Salmonella in U.S. raw turkey, Australian spring rolls

There are a few Salmonella-related news items this week, and here’s the latest on some of the bigger stories.

Raw turkey

A multistate outbreak of multidrug-resistant Salmonella tied to raw turkey products has expanded, said the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) last week.

A total of 279 people have been infected with the outbreak strain as of Feb. 13 — 63 more than had been reported in the last official update back in December. At least 107 people have been hospitalized, and one person has died. The strain has been reported in 41 states and the District of Columbia, and may have spread into Canada.

The ongoing investigation has found that infected people had reported eating different brands and types of turkey products purchased from many different vendors. The outbreak strain has been found in many raw turkey products, including pet food, and in live turkeys, indicating it might be widespread in the turkey industry.

Turkey producers are working with the CDC and Department of Agriculture to reduce Salmonella contamination.

Spring rolls

A reported nine people have been hospitalized in Australia due to a Salmonella outbreak associated with raw egg butter, pate or barbecue pork ingredients.

At least 11 people have been sickened in the outbreak, which has been traced back to spring rolls, otherwise known as Vietnamese rolls, from three bakeries located in South Australia.

Health authorities are working with the bakeries to improve conditions.

“Food and environmental samples have been collected from all stores, and results will assist in identifying the source of the contamination,” said South Australia Health’s Dr. Nicola Spurrier. “Cleaning and sanitizing procedures will have also been assessed and improved, and will continue to be monitored.”

The bakeries have agreed to stop using the suspected ingredients in their spring rolls, and an investigation has been launched to find out which ingredient is responsible for the infections.

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