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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

20 State Salmonella Investigation, June – July 2007 – 65 persons infected with Salmonella Wandsworth and 10 persons infected with Salmonella Typhimurium – Both From Veggie Booty – Total 75 Ill.

As of July 18 at 11AM ET, 65 persons infected with Salmonella Wandsworth have been reported to CDC from 20 states: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin. Among the patients for whom clinical information is available, all had diarrhea, 76% had bloody stools, and six patients were hospitalized. No deaths have been attributed to these infections. Onset dates, which are known for 64 patients, ranged from February 26, 2007 to June 27, 2007. Most (91%) of cases have occurred in children aged 10 months to 3 years. During the initial phase of the outbreak, the number of cases gradually increased, with only 8 cases reported to PulseNet ( the nationwide network of public health laboratories that sub-type bacteria) from 6 states before May 1, 2007. Health department and CDC investigators worked for weeks conducting interviews with parents of ill children to develop theories about possible sources of infection.

OutbreakNet officials at CDC and in state and local health departments, FDA, and the marketing and manufacturing companies are working collaboratively to learn more about production of Veggie Booty to determine how it may have become contaminated . The Minnesota Department of Agriculture Laboratory (MDAL) has isolated the outbreak strain of Salmonella Wandsworth from sealed bags of Veggie Booty obtained from retail stores. The outbreak strain has also been isolated from sealed bags of Veggie Booty by the FDA laboratory and the New York State Department of Health Wadsworth Center Laboratory. Preliminary testing suggests that the seasoning mix used in Veggie Booty may be the source of the contamination.

MDAL also isolated Salmonella Typhimurium, a different strain of Salmonella, from a sealed bag of Veggie Booty collected at the same time as the bags positive for Salmonella Wandsworth. PulseNet identified 10 persons who had illness caused by this strain of Salmonella Typhimurium between June 1, 2007 and June 27, 2007. OutbreakNet officials have interviewed 8 of the 10 ill persons with this strain of Salmonella Typhimurium and determined that all eight consumed Veggie Booty during the week before their illnesses began.