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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

77 Sick, 1 Dead from Antibiotic-resistant Salmonella – Again – Manufacturer known, but still Unnamed

As I said to the AP:

Food safety advocate Bill Marler, an attorney who has represented victims of the nation’s biggest food-borne illness outbreaks, said he believes the three positive samples should prompt a recall.

“Consumers have no idea what to do except not eat ground turkey,” he said.

The CDC announced this evening that a total of 77 persons infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Heidelberg have been reported from 26 states between March 1 and August 1, 2011. The number of ill persons identified in each state is as follows:AL (1), AZ (2), CA (6), GA (1), IA (1), IL (7), IN (1), KY (2), LA (1), MA (1), MI (10), MN (1), MO (2), MS (1), NC (1), NE (2), NV (1), OH (10), OK (1), OH (10), OK (1), OR (1), PA (5), SD (3), TN (2), TX (9), and WI (3). Among persons for whom information is available, illnesses began on or after March 9, 2011. Ill persons range in age from less than 1 year to 88 years old, with a median age of 23 years old. Forty-eight percent are female. Among the 58 ill persons with available information, 22 (38%) have been hospitalized. One death has been reported.

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Interestingly, although the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA-FSIS) announced an advisory late Friday night (without naming states), FSIS also continues to keep the manufacturers name quiet. This despite the CDC announcing that cultures of four ground turkey samples purchased from four retail locations between March 7 and June 27, 2011 yielded Salmonella Heidelberg with the outbreak strain (i.e. match to ill people). Also, the CDC reports that preliminary information indicates that three of these products originated from a common production establishment; the fourth is still under investigation.

Well, at least we know the states where ill people are – or, were!

Yesterday, I reported incorectlly that Cargill owned Jennie-O – it is Hormel.

  • Ted

    USDA removes damning report linking CAFOs and antibiotic resistant bacterial infections.
    See the full story at:
    “In a nutshell, the USDA asked Vaishali Dharmarha, a Food Safety Information Specialist at U.S. Department of Agriculture/University of Maryland, to summarize recent academic findings on the link between antibiotic resistant bacterial infections (such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA) and industrial farm animal production. The agency blessed the report, which summarized research from 63 academic papers, as peer-reviewed, scientific, and scholarly. And then they quashed it.
    Dharmarha’s report was damning in a way that won’t surprise anyone acquainted with the ills of industrial livestock production. The list includes the phenomenon of livestock becoming reservoirs of resistant bacteria that can be transmitted to humans, the development of antibiotic-resistant strains of Salmonella,Campylobactyer, Enterococci, and more. It’s not surprising that the meat industry was unhappy. In particular, the National Pork Producers Council found the report “very disappointing.”
    But despite USDA’s original support, Dharmarha has been silenced and forbidden to talk to the media, and the review has vanished from the USDA website, and, apparently, most of the Internet. ”
    But the original USDA report is still available via a Google cache:

  • laturb

    Of course. It’s the last thing that the USDA want; an informed public!
    Better just to bend over and keep the industry happy.

  • Minkpuppy

    The only thing I can can come up with is maybe the Agency is treading lightly on releasing the company information until they are absolutely sure.
    I’ve got a bad feeling this bug is coming from multiple sources and they’re trying to narrow it down. There may be other products from other companies out there that will ultimately be affected. I say look for a recall affecting more than one company.