The Buncombe County Department of Health received additional test results from the North Carolina Department of Public Health laboratory confirming that the bacteria found in the tempeh is a match to the Salmonella Paratyphi B that is making people sick in the current disease outbreak. Health officials confirm that people are infected with this type of Salmonella in one of three ways:
- Direct consumption of the tempeh
- Exposure to food items contaminated by uncooked tempeh
- Contact with someone who is ill with Salmonella
The laboratory results today and yesterday offer helpful information to both health officials and the public. Lab tests yesterday confirm that Salmonella Paratyphi B associated with this outbreak causes a non-typhoidal salmonella; which means it causes symptoms that can be severe but not as severe as the other strain of Salmonella Paratyphi B, which lab tests first indicated. The test results today help us confirm that the tempeh is associated with this outbreak, however cases are continuing to be reported.
As of May 3, Buncombe County Environmental Health Specialists have contacted all food establishments under the jurisdiction of the Buncombe County Department of Health to verify that the recalled tempeh has been removed. Although a food source has been linked with the outbreak, the outbreak continues because infection is being transmitted person-to-person.
As of 4 pm on 5/4/12 the latest formation about the outbreak is as follows:
Age range of those getting ill is 4 – 79 with a median age is 34
60% of cases are female