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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

Beware of Little Turtles with Salmonella


CDC reports today:

• A total of 66 persons infected with outbreak strains of Salmonella Sandiego, Salmonella Pomona, and Salmonella Poona have been reported from 16 states.

• The number of ill persons identified in each state is as follows: Arizona (2), California (8), Georgia (1), Indiana (1), Kentucky (1), Massachusetts (3), Maryland (6), Michigan (1), North Carolina (1), New Jersey (6), New Mexico (3), New York (21), Pennsylvania (7), Texas (3), Virginia (1), and Vermont (1)

• 11 ill persons have been hospitalized, and no deaths have been reported.

• 55% of ill persons are children 10 years of age or younger.

• Results of the epidemiologic and traceback investigations indicate exposure to turtles or their environments (e.g., water from a turtle habitat) is the cause of this outbreak.

• Turtles with a shell length of less than 4 inches in size should not be purchased or given as gifts.

  • Carl Custer

    This is a reoccurring story.
    Once upon a time, or 1965, my lab partner set up an aquarium in the lab. Starting with goldfish and guppies, he added a crawdad and some cute red-eared turtles bought at Woolworths with a floating island. It was entertaining watching the crawdad and turtles attack the fish.
    Then lab partner came down with a serious case of the “trots”. Based on current literature, I checked the aquarium and sure enough there were salmonellae. I dosed the aquarium with chloramphenicol (An advantage of being in a micro lab) and cleared the tank of salmonellae.
    A few years later FDA banned the sale of turtles.
    Jorge Santayana must be giggling in his grave.