August 15, 2011


Salmonella Heidelberg infects 107 US consumers



The Salmonella Heidelberg strain outbreak reported from 31 states has so far infected 107 US consumers and resulted in the death of one, according to an August 11 update from the Centers for Disease Control and prevention (CDC).


On August 3, Wichita-based Cargill Meat Solutions recalled 36 million lbs. of ground turkey products due to possible Salmonella contamination.


As of August 3, CDC, had received reports that 78 cases from 26 states including one death associated with this outbreak of Salmonella Heidelberg have occurred since March 1, according to Chris Braden, M.D., Director, Division of Foodborne, Waterborne, and Environmental Diseases, CDC. "The reported dates of illness onsets are March 9 through July 2. It's possible there are other cases that have not yet been reported," Braden said at that time.


CDC reports that 23 of these sick people have been identified with Salmonella Heidelberg with a closely related PFGE pattern to that of the other 84 ill persons. The 23 ill persons with this closely related PFGE pattern of Salmonella Heidelberg have been included in the total count of outbreak cases.


These two closely related PFGE patterns of Salmonella Heidelberg were isolated from a ground turkey sample taken from an Ohio patient's home and retail samples of ground turkey collected as part of routine surveillance through the National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS). Collaborative investigative efforts of state, local, and federal public health and regulatory agencies indicate that eating ground turkey is the likely source of this outbreak.


The outbreak strain of Salmonella Heidelberg is resistant to several commonly prescribed antibiotics; this antibiotic resistance may be associated with an increased risk of hospitalisation or possible treatment failure in infected individuals.

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