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2010 a breakout year for Salmonella

Enhanced scanning electron micrograph of Salmonella t
Enhanced scanning electron micrograph of Salmonella t
Rocky Mountain Laboratories, NIAID, NIH

2010 was a big year for Salmonella. The ubiquitous, rod-shaped, Gram-negative, disease-causing relative of E. Coli surfaced up in a wide range of foods grown, processed, and sold in the U.S. Salmonella has caused sickness in hundreds of thousands of men, women, children, and pets nationwide.

According to current CDC estimates , Salmonella in foods is responsible for 1,027,561 Illnesses, 19,336 hospitalizations, and 378 deaths per year.

Here is a partial listing of FDA recall announcements for food productions tainted with Salmonella.

  • January 14, 2010 FDA Health Alert for Merrick Beef Filet Squares Dog Treats Packaged and Distributed by Merrick Pet Care Products may be contaminated with Salmonella

  • March 4, 2010 The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is taking steps to protect the public following the early identification of Salmonella Tennessee in one company’s supply of hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP). This is a common ingredient used most frequently as a flavor enhancer in many processed foods, including soups, sauces, chilis, stews, hot dogs, gravies, seasoned snack foods, dips and dressings.

  • March 8, 2010 - GNS Foods, Inc. is announcing a voluntary recall of mixes containing certain pretzels. The products contain the ingredient Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein (HVP) being recalled by Basic Food Flavors because of the potential to contain salmonella. The manufacturer of these pretzels, National Pretzel Co. of San Francisco, CA, used this flavoring, and is voluntarily recalling its related pretzel products. GNS is voluntarily recalling snack mixes which include these pretzels.

  • March 30, 2010 Red & Black Pepper Spice Recalls Linked to the Salmonella Montevideo Outbreak Investigation

  • April 12, 2010 - Response Products, Broken Bow, NE is voluntarily recalling Cetyl M for Dogs, lot numbers 1210903 and 0128010, due to a possible Salmonella contamination from the hydrolyzed vegetable protein component provided by Basic Foods of Las Vegas, NV.

  • May 27, 2010 Salinas, California - organicgirl Produce is voluntarily recalling a limited number of cases of 10 oz organicgirl Baby Spinach with an expired Use-by Date of May 22 and Product Code 11A061167 because it has the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella.
  • May 21, 2010 Urgent Nationwide Alfalfa Sprout Recall. Raw Alfalfa Sprouts Linked to Salmonella Outbreak in 10 States

  • June 17, 2010 - ConAgra Foods Packaged Foods, recalling Marie Callender's brand Cheesy Chicken and Rice frozen meals. These products are being recalled after the company was informed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of an investigation involving 29 people in 14 states who have been diagnosed with salmonellosis linked to Salmonella serotype Chester.
  • CDC August 2, 2010 Investigation Announcement: Multistate Outbreak of Human Salmonella I Infections Associated with Frozen Rodents
  • CDC August 20, 2010 nvestigation Update: Multistate Outbreak of Human Typhoid Fever Infections Associated with Frozen Mamey Fruit Pulp
  • August 25, 2010 Kirkland Signature brand Milk Chocolate Salted Caramel Macadamia Clusters recalled due to possible salmonella contamination.
  • December 28, 2010 - Including packaging details; states affected; and clarifying product only packed on two dates (Nov. 30 and Dec. 6, 2010) is covered by tbis recall - Following confirmation from regulators of a positive test for salmonella on curly parsley in Quebec and cilantro in Detroit, J&D Produce Inc. is initiating a precautionary, voluntary recall of these two items and other potentially affected products packed only Nov. 30 and Dec. 6, 2010. There have been no reported illnesses.

Closer to home, on March 29, 2010 , Lance, Inc. - headquartered in Charlotte - recalled 28,087 cases of Tom's Barbecue Potato Chips packaged in 1 oz, 2.25 oz and 8.5 oz sizes. According to the FDA recall notice, the products were possibly contaminated with Salmonella. No illness have been reported as yet (http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm206881.htm).

On December 10, 2010, the FDA announce that Tropical Nut & Fruit of Charlotte, NC, is "voluntarily recalling all its products containing walnuts supplied by Atlas Walnuts, LLC after November 16, 2010 because they have the potential to contain Salmonella. " http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm236656.htm

Illness caused by Salmonella usually last for 4 to 7 days and most folks recover fully. Death can result if the disease spreads into the blood stream. Fortunately, if the infection is diagnosed in time, the patients can recover. Most persons who have picked up Salmonella through contact with food or feces have these symtoms:

  • diarrhea
  • fever
  • abdominal cramping

The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) gives these recommendations to prevent the spread and ingestion of Salmonella:

  • Wash hands with warm, soapy water for at least 20 seconds before and after handling raw meat and poultry. Also wash cutting boards, dishes and utensils with hot soapy water. Clean up spills right away.
  • Keep raw meat, fish and poultry away from other food that will not be cooked. Use separate cutting boards for raw meat, poultry and egg products and cooked foods.
  • Cook raw meat and poultry to safe internal temperatures before eating. The safe internal temperature for meat such as beef and pork is 160° F, and 165° F for poultry, as determined with a food thermometer.
  • Refrigerate raw meat and poultry within two hours after purchase (one hour if temperatures exceed 90° F). Refrigerate cooked meat and poultry within two hours after cooking.

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