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Salmonella Stanley outbreak linked to raw cashew cheese seen in three states

Just days after the West Sacramento, California company, The Cultured Kitchen announced a voluntary recall of all flavors of its cashew cheese products with expiration dates on or before April 19, 2014, due to the risk of contamination with salmonella, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) opened up an investigation of a multistate outbreak of Salmonella Stanley linked to the recalled product, according to a CDC announcement Jan. 3.

A total of 14 persons infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Stanley have been reported from three states.

While the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) press release on the recall dated Dec.31 noted there were 15 cases of illnesses reported in the Western United States, the CDC numbers indicate that the outbreak is currently at 14 cases from three states noting that one ill person identified in Utah likely acquired their infection during international travel and was excluded from the case count.

Three of the 14 cases required hospitalization for their illness.

Twelve of the 14 cases are reported from California (86 percent) with one case a piece reported from Nevada and Wyoming.

Based on the epidemiologic and traceback investigations by health and agricultural officials at all levels of government indicate that consumption of raw cashew cheese produced by The Cultured Kitchen is the likely source of this outbreak of Salmonella Stanley infections.

Cashew cheese is a non-dairy product made from raw cashews and other ingredients.

The strain of Salmonella Stanley in this current outbreak is rare in the PulseNet database and has been seen only 20 times prior to this outbreak.

Between 1 August 2011 and 23 January 2013, 684 cases of non-travel-related S. Stanley infections (probable and confirmed cases) were identified in the European Union (EU), according to European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).

Salmonella enterica serovar Stanley (S. Stanley) is a common serovar in Southeast Asia and was the second most common serovar implicated in human salmonellosis in Thailand in the years 2002 to 2007.

Most people with salmonellosis develop diarrhea, fever, vomiting, and abdominal cramps 12 to 72 hours after infection. In most cases, the illness lasts four to seven days, and most people recover without treatment.

In some cases, though, the diarrhea may be so severe, the patient becomes dangerously dehydrated and must be taken to a hospital. At the hospital, the patient may receive intravenous fluids to treat the dehydration, and may be given medications to provide symptomatic relief, such as fever reduction.

In severe cases, the salmonella infection may spread from the intestines to the blood stream, and then to other body sites, and can cause death, unless the person is treated promptly with antibiotics. The elderly, infants, and those with impaired immune systems are more likely to develop severe illness.

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