Pride & Joy Dairy, a Toppenish, Washington, raw milk dairy has surrendered its processors license, though it could regain the license by satisfying the state Department of Agriculture (WSDA) that it has found and cleaned up the source of Salmonella.

WSDA suspended the dairy’s license on October 6 after state health officials linked raw milk from Pride & Joy to two people hospitalized in January with Salmonella poisoning.

If Pride & Joy had not surrendered its license, the dairy faced having the license revoked by WSDA.

The dairy agreed that it must submit a plan for WSDA’s approval for investigating the cause of pathogens in its bottled milk and for correcting problems.

WSDA reported finding Salmonella in raw milk samples collected from the dairy in September. WSDA issued a public health alert after the dairy declined to voluntarily recall its milk.

According to the FDA, the CDC reports a total of 251 people were infected with the outbreak strains of Salmonella Thompson (144), Kiambu (54), Anatum (20), Agona (12), Gaminara (7), Urbana (7), Newport & Infantis (4), and Senftenberg (3), from 25 states.

Seventy-nine ill people were hospitalized. Two deaths were reported, one from New York City and one in California.

Outbreak Investigations Linked to Papayas:

According to health reports, about 180 people reported becoming ill after the event and around half of those sought medical care, with 20 percent receiving emergency room care — 10 percent were hospitalized for one or more nights after eating chowder from the Crab Shack at the Chincoteague Chili Chowder Cook Off in late September.

However, Dr. David Matson made it clear Thursday that is was more important to suck up to the place that sickened 180 people with Salmonella.

“The risk is gone,” said the Eastern Shore Health District director. Matson traveled from the health department in Accomac about 45 minutes north to Chincoteague on Thursday to eat lunch. It was more than a mere lunch. The meal at the Crab Shack on Maddox Boulevard was Matson’s statement to the public — an endorsement, if you will —  that the restaurant’s award-winning clam chowder is safe.

It was also tasty — a lightly creamy, savory broth chock full of clams, along with potatoes, celery and carrots, with a hint of bacon, he said.

The health department on Monday identified the site as the source of a salmonella outbreak that occurred after the Chincoteague Chili Chowder Cook Off in late September. The establishment was identified in a news release Tuesday from the health district because there were additional ones also serving chowder at the event.

Health officials say about 150 people living in eight states have been sickened by Salmonella after attending a chili cook-off in Virginia.

Dr. David Matson, director of the state’s Eastern Shore Health District, said by phone Wednesday that half of them have sought medical treatment. Some have been hospitalized.

More than 2,000 people attended the 18th Annual Chincoteague Chili Chowder Cook-Off and Car Show on Sept. 30.

Matson said most people sickened by the bacteria have already become ill with diarrhea, vomiting and fever.

Officials are asking cook-off attendees to fill out a survey as they determine the bacteria’s source.

The 150 people who’ve gotten sick live in Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and North Carolina.

Press reports indicate that the Louisiana’s Department of Health is investigating a Salmonella outbreak in Caldwell Parish that has sickened more than 100 and may have contributed to one death. Local and state authorities trying to determine if the death of a 56-year-old man, Duane Reitzell, was connected to a mass illness.

Samantha Hartmann, press officer for the Louisiana Department of Health, said preliminary tests of samples have returned positive for Salmonella.

As of Thursday, 49 cases of a gastrointestinal illness were confirmed with 31 people hospitalized, the Department of Health reported. The ages of those with a confirmed illness range from 15 to 70.

State officials also reported Thursday samples taken from five people have tested positive for salmonella.

Sheriff Clay Bennett, who also is sick, said more than 100 residents have sought medical treatment. Bennett said workers at the sheriff’s office also fell ill Tuesday afternoon. He said employees ate jambalaya from a local softball fundraiser, but no one was certain about the origin of the illness. Bennett said the illness could have come from anything.

“Everybody is trying to figure out what’s going on,” said Drew Keahey, a Caldwell Parish farmer and president of the Tensas Basin Levee District board. “No bigger than we are, when there are 200 people in the hospital, everybody knows somebody who is sick. Keahey, a director of Homeland Bank, said more than 10 people left the bank Tuesday with sickness.

The Department of Health said in a short statement it had been “notified of a possible food-related gastrointestinal disease outbreak.” A disease surveillance specialist is investigating the incident.

Lab results confirmed the Salmonella strain recently found in Pride & Joy Dairy organic raw milk matches the strain that hospitalized two Washington residents in January. Health officials are urging consumers not to drink Pride & Joy Dairy organic raw milk in any container size or sell-by date.

“Unpasteurized ‘raw’ milk can carry harmful bacteria and germs. Foodborne illnesses are possible from many different foods; however, raw milk is one of the riskiest,” said Dr. Scott Lindquist, Washington state communicable disease epidemiologist.

The unique strain identified in the illnesses and the recent dairy sample, SalmonellaDublin, has previously been found among cattle and cattle products, including beef and raw dairy. Symptoms can include fever, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. In severe cases, the infection can be fatal.

Infants, young children, the elderly, pregnant women and those with a weakened immune system are at greatest risk. More information on the health risks of drinking raw milk can be found on the Washington State Department of Health website.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, states that allow the sale of raw milk have more raw milk-related illness outbreaks than states that prohibit raw milk sales. The production of raw milk in Washington is regulated by the Washington State Department of Agriculture.

Live Science reports that several restaurants in the United States are serving up a raw chicken dish that’s referred to as either chicken sashimi or chicken tartare, according to Food & Wine Magazine. Though the “specialty” hasn’t caught on much in the U.S., it’s more widely available in Japan. Eating chicken sashimi puts a person at a “pretty high risk” of getting an infection caused by Campylobacter or Salmonella, two types of bacteria that cause food poisoning, said Ben Chapman, a food safety specialist and an associate professor at North Carolina State University.

Campylobacter infections are one of the most common causes of diarrheal infections in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The bacteria cause gastrointestinal symptoms including diarrhea, cramping and abdominal pain, and in some cases can also cause nausea and vomiting, the CDC says. There are an estimated 1.3 million cases in the U.S. each year and fewer than 100 deaths, on average, each year from the infection.

Salmonella infections also cause symptoms such as diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps, according to the CDC. About 1.2 million people contract Salmonella each year, and about 450 people die from the infection, the CDC says.

Chapman noted that eating raw chicken is different from eating raw fish, which can be found in sushi dishes. With raw fish, the germs that are most likely to make a person sick are parasites, and these parasites can be killed by freezing the fish, he said. Salmonella, on the other hand, “isn’t going to be affected by freezing.”

In Japan, where the dish is more popular, the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare advised restaurants in June 2016 to “re-evaluate raw and half-raw chicken menus,” according to The Asahi Shimbun, a Japanese newspaper. The ministry urged restaurants to cook chicken to an internal temperature of 75 degrees Celsius (167 degrees Fahrenheit). The recommendation from the ministry came after more than 800 people said they were sickened several months earlier after eating chicken sashimi and chicken “sushi” rolls, The Asahi Shimbun reported.

The Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) has identified an outbreak of Salmonella, impacting at least 14 individuals. As part of the CDPH investigation, Best BBQ at 1648 W. 115th Street has been linked to the outbreak. Following a request from CDPH, Best BBQ closed voluntarily and is fully cooperating with the investigation. At least six individuals have been hospitalized related to the outbreak.
 
CDPH recommends anyone who recently ate at the restaurant in question and is suffering symptoms to see a medical provider and inform them of the possibility of Salmonella.

“This is a serious condition that is treatable,” said CDPH Commissioner Julie Morita, M.D. “Anyone who believes they may be symptomatic and ate at this restaurant should see their medical provider immediately. CDPH is taking every precaution as part of our robust response in order to limit the impact of this outbreak.”
 
Salmonella is a bacteria that can be treated with antibiotics. Most people infected develop diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps between 12 and 72 hours after infection.

Salmonella symptoms usually last four to seven days, and most individuals recover without any treatment. In some cases, diarrhea may be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized. In these patients, the Salmonella infection may spread from the intestines to the blood stream, and then to other body sites. In these cases, Salmonella can cause death unless the person is treated promptly with antibiotics. The elderly, infants, and those with impaired immune systems are more likely to have a severe illness. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that Salmonella causes approximately one million illnesses and 450 deaths in the United States each year.

The outbreak was detected by CDPH officials’ ongoing surveillance, reviewing laboratory reports of patients diagnosed with specific diseases. Investigators recognized an uptick in a particular laboratory serotype of Salmonella cases and then contacted patients to determine if there were any commonalities between the various cases. This led to the determination that a number of individuals with a single Salmonella serotype recently ate at the restaurant in question. Working with CDPH food protection inspectors, the restaurant is addressing any possible contamination issues, to ensure sanitary and health conditions are in place. They are also providing a list of suppliers to investigate possible concerns with food sources. CDPH has also issued an alert to area physicians of the outbreak, providing medical guidance.

The CDC, public health and regulatory officials in several states, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration are investigating a multistate outbreak of Salmonella infections.

This outbreak includes four different types of Salmonella: Thompson, Kiambu, Agona, and Gaminara. The same strain of these types of Salmonella were found in samples collected from papayas and from ill people.

A total of 201 people infected with the outbreak strains of Salmonella Thompson (131), Salmonella Kiambu (57), Salmonella Agona (8), or Salmonella Gaminara (5) have been reported from 23 states.

Sixty-five ill people have been hospitalized. One death was reported from New York City.

Epidemiologic and laboratory evidence indicates that Maradol papayas from the Carica de Campeche farm in Mexico are the likely source of this multistate outbreak.

Two additional outbreaks of Salmonella infections linked to imported papayas from two other farms in Mexico, Caraveo Produce and El Zapotanito, have been identified. Available information indicates that illnesses in these two outbreaks are not linked to papayas from the Carica de Campeche farm and are being investigated separately.

CDC recommends that consumers not eat, restaurants not serve, and retailers not sell Maradol papayas from the Carica de Campeche, Caraveo Produce, or El Zapotanito farms in Mexico.

Because three separate outbreaks linked to papayas from different farms have been identified, CDC is concerned that papayas from several other farms in Mexico might be contaminated with Salmonella and have made people sick.

Since Friday, August 18, the Arkansas Department of Health has received and is investigating approximately 30 reports of people ill with what is likely a foodborne illness. To date, we have four confirmed cases of Salmonella. At this point, epidemiological information suggests that the Chuck Wagon Restaurant in Stuttgart, Arkansas is the likely site of the outbreak.

Arkansas Department of Health is taking steps to address this outbreak. We are collecting biological specimens from patients that are ill. In addition, we are collecting information about where they have eaten and any other common exposures they might have had. This may include animal or worksite exposure. ADH has inspected the site that has been identified as a common food source for these individuals and identified risks were removed. We have received cooperation from the site and have provided additional food safety training to all employees. Arkansas Department of Health will be conducting a follow-up inspection.

People who ate at the restaurant on or around Aug. 14-16, and are experiencing symptoms should contact their healthcare provider first, and then the Arkansas Department of Health either at 501-537-8969 or by email at adh.foodsafe@arkansas.gov.