The FDA and CDC are investigating a multistate outbreak of Thompson infections connected to seafood produced or processed by Northeast Seafood Products, Inc. of Denver, CO. According to the CDC, most sick patients live in Colorado or visited Colorado during the week they got sick.
The CDC’s epidemiological investigation points to seafood as the top suspect in this outbreak’s illnesses. Northeast Seafood Products, Inc. was identified as a common distributor by the FDA.
To date, 102 persons have been reported infected with the epidemic strain of Salmonella Thompson across 14 states. The vast majority of sick patients are either Colorado residents (82) or had travelled to Colorado in the week preceding their illness. Only two people did not report travel to Colorado in the week before their disease.
19 people required hospitalization for their illness.
On Oct. 7, environmental samples taken from Northeast Seafood Products, Inc. were found to be positive for Salmonella Thompson and to be a match to the outbreak strain using whole-genome sequencing.
Although no one food source has been identified as the source of the outbreak, state and municipal officials from infected states have collected food samples from restaurants where sick people dined and discovered salmonella in a condiment cup containing cilantro and lime. Onions were also included in the cup, but they were not present when the food was examined.
Seafood types include Haddock, Monkfish, Bone-in Trout, Grouper, Red Snapper, Red Rock Cod, Ocean Perch, Pacific Cod, Halibut, Coho Salmon, Atlantic Salmon Portions, Lane Snapper, Tilapia, All Natural Salmon Fillet, Pacific Sole, and Farm Raised Striped Bass. Products were distributed fresh but may have been frozen later by consumers and businesses.
“Because multiple food items were present in the container and in the sample that was tested, it is not possible to know which food item was contaminated. We are using this information in conjunction with other available information to help narrow the list of possible foods linked to illness,” the agency said in a statement.
Health experts also suspect that the true number of illnesses is substantially greater than reported because some people recover from salmonella without seeking medical attention and hence are not tested for it. It can sometimes take up to four weeks to determine if someone was involved in an outbreak.
Northeast Seafood Products, Inc. issued a recall on Haddock, Monkfish, Bone-in Trout, Grouper, Red Snapper, Red Rock Cod, Ocean Perch, Pacific Cod, Halibut, Coho Salmon, Atlantic Salmon Portions, Lane Snapper, Tilapia, All Natural Salmon Fillet, Pacific Sole, Farm Raised Striped Bass on Oct. 8.
These goods were sold to Colorado restaurants as well as Albertsons, Safeway, and Sprouts stores. The Pacific Cod purchased at Sprouts is not being recalled.
The FDA’s website has a complete list of recalled products. Northeast Seafood Products, Inc. has temporarily halted production at this moment.
Food infected with Salmonella germs does not normally appear, smell, or taste rotten. Anyone can become ill from a Salmonella infection, but newborns, children, seniors, and individuals with compromised immune systems are at a higher risk of serious disease due to their reduced immune systems, according to the CDC.
Anyone who has eaten any of the recalled items or seafood at Colorado restaurants and developed Salmonella symptoms should seek medical assistance. Sick persons should notify their doctors if they have been exposed to Salmonella bacteria, as special tests are required to diagnose salmonellosis. Salmonella infection symptoms might be similar to those of other infections, leading to frequent misdiagnosis.
Salmonella infection can cause diarrhoea, abdominal cramps, and fever 12 to 72 hours after consuming contaminated food. Adults who are otherwise healthy are frequently unwell for four to seven days. However, in extreme circumstances, diarrhoea can be so severe that patients must be hospitalized.
Older adults, kids, expectant mothers, and immunocompromised individuals, such as cancer patients, are more susceptible to acquire serious, often life-threatening illnesses.
It is possible for some individuals to be exposed to the bacteria without becoming ill or exhibiting any symptoms, but still, be able to spread the infection to others.
The CDC recommends people practice food safety measures such as cleaning utensils, hands and foods, as well as separating different foods and making sure all food is cooked to a high enough temperature. The agency also recommends refrigerating perishable foods within two hours and thawing foods in a refrigerator.
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