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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

Veggie Booty Salmonella Final Report – New York Department of Health

Instead of looking out my window today, I spent much of it reviewing the Final Veggie Booty Salmonella Report by the New York Department of Health and all the attached documents.  One thing caught my attention – the number of Salmonella strains found in this outbreak. Strains included:

Salmonella Wandsworth, Salmonella Typhimurium, Salmonella Mbandaka, Salmonella sp., Salmonella Kentucky, Salmonella Haifa and Salmonella Saint Paul

Also found was Enterobacter sakazakii. Enterobacter sakazakii is a gram-negative rod-shaped bacterium within the family Enterobacteriaceae. The organism was called "yellow-pigmented Enterobacter cloacae" until 1980 when it was renamed Enterobacter sakazakii. The majority of cases of infection reported in the peer-reviewed literature have described neonates with sepsis, meningitis, or necrotizing enterocolitis as a consequence of the infection. The Report in part reads:

In May 2007, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) begun a multi-state investigation in response to an increase in laboratory reports, first posted on the PulseNet WebBoard on April 2, 2007, of Salmonella Wandsworth. Salmonella Wandsworth is a very rare serotype that was never before implicated in a U.S. outbreak. As of September 6, 2007, there were 69 reported cases of Salmonella Wandsworth in 23 states and 14 cases of Salmonella Typhimurium in six states who became ill after consuming Veggie Booty, a puffed vegetable snack food with a raw, dried vegetable coating.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) conducted food and environmental sampling at the factories used to make the season Veggie Booty snack products. Veggie Booty is coated with a raw spice/seasoning that includes eight different vegetable ingredients blended together. Samples from the seasoning tested by the FDA were reported positive for the outbreak strains of Salmonella Wandsworth and Salmonella Typhimurium. The FDA also found isolates in the seasonings positive for Salmonella Mbandaka. The suspected Salmonella Mbandaka isolate was a brand new pattern.

A total of 61 bags were tested in twelve states. Salmonella sp. was isolated from thirteen bags of Veggie Booty. Eleven of the thirteen bags were positive for the outbreak strain of Salmonella Wandsworth and one bag was positive for Salmonella Typhimurium and Enterobacter sakazakii. One bag tested positive for Salmonella Kentucky. CDC reported Salmonella Haifa and Salmonella Saint Paul were isolated from bags of Veggie Booty.

The Full Report can be found here.

  • Martin Bucknavage

    Thanks for sharing this informative report. It certainly shows the lack of control on both the supplier and the purchaser.

  • Nicole

    If memory serves me correctly, the seasoning on the Veggie Booty was sourced from China, which would seemingly explain where these rare strains of Salmonella came from. Let’s keep letting the poison flow into our borders unchecked. As if we don’t have enough safety issues to deal with domestically.