Salmonella Africana is a relatively rare strain, there are only 5 clusters in NCBI

A very tight sub-cluster in a larger cluster Entire Cluster 267 Isolates (all clinical) Distance between isolates : minimum = 0 SNPs, maximum = 53 SNPs, average = 20 SNPs WGS date range : 2018-03-22 t

A very tight sub-cluster in a larger cluster Entire Cluster 267 Isolates (all clinical) Distance between isolates : minimum = 0 SNPs, maximum = 53 SNPs, average = 20 SNPs WGS date range : 2018-03-22 to 2024-05-22

Entire Cluster

267 Isolates (all clinical)

Distance between isolates : minimum = 0 SNPs, maximum = 53 SNPs, average = 20 SNPs

WGS date range : 2018-03-22 to 2024-05-22

Outbreak sub-Cluster

124 Isolates

Distance between selected isolates: minimum = 0 SNPs, maximum = 6 SNPs, average = 1 SNPs

WGS date range: 2024-04-15 to 2024-05-22

We still have a long way to go to make our food supply safer. This is what I spent my Saturday on.

Gibson Farms Walnut E. coli Outbreak: The FDA and CDC, in collaboration with state and local partners, are investigating illnesses in a multistate outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 infections linked to organic walnuts from Gibson Farms, Inc. of Hollister, California that were distributed to multiple natural food and co-op stores in AK, AZ, CA, CO, HI, ID, MT, NM, OR, SD, TX, and WA and sold in bulk bins. 

As of April 30, 2024, 12 people infected with the outbreak strain of E. coli have been reported from 2 states. Illnesses started on dates ranging from February 1, 2024, to April 4, 2024. Of 11 people with information available, 7 (64%) have been hospitalized. Two patients have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a serious condition that can cause kidney failure. No deaths have been reported.

State and local public health officials have interviewed people about the foods they ate in the week before they became ill. Of the 10 people interviewed, all 10 (100%) reported eating walnuts, and almost all reported buying organic walnuts from bulk bins in food co-ops or natural food stores.

FDA’s traceback investigation identified Gibson Farms, Inc. as the common supplier of walnuts in this outbreak. On April 27, 2024, Gibson Farms, Inc. initiated a voluntary recall  and contacted their distributing customers. Distributors and retailers that may have received recalled bulk organic walnuts should follow the recommendations above and contact their customers. 

FDA is working with the firm and its distributors to determine the source of contamination, whether additional products or states are affected, and retailers that received recalled product. This advisory will be updated as information becomes available. 

Recalled organic walnut halves and pieces were sold in bulk bins at natural food and co-op stores in AK, AZ, CA, CO, HI, ID, MT, NM, OR, SD, TX, and WA. Some stores may repackage bulk walnut halves and pieces into plastic clamshells or bags.

full list of store names and locations is available.

Trader Joe’s Basil Salmonella Outbreak: CDC, public health and regulatory officials in several states, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are collecting different types of data to investigate a multistate outbreak of Salmonella Typhimurium infections. Epidemiologic and traceback data show that Infinite Herbs brand organic basil may be contaminated with Salmonella and be making people sick.

As of April 17, 2024, a total of 12 people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella have been reported from 7 states – Florida, Georgia, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, Rhode Island and Wisconsin. Illnesses started on dates ranging from February 11, 2024, to April 2, 2024. Of 11 people with information available, 1 person has been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.

Of 12 people interviewed, 10 (83%) reported shopping at Trader Joe’s. Seven sick people reported buying or likely buying organic basil in 2.5 oz clamshell-style containers from Trader Joe’s. Additionally, traceback data collected by FDA determined that Infinite Herbs, LLC, in Miami, Florida, was the supplier of the 2.5-oz packages of organic basil sold at Trader Joe’s stores.

While this investigation is ongoing, do not eat Infinite Herbs organic basil sold at Trader Joe’s stores in those 29 states and Washington DC. The basil was sold in 2.5 oz clamshell-style packages. Investigators are working to determine if additional products may be contaminated.

Infinite Herbs-brand organic basil packed in 2.5-oz clamshell packaging and sold at Trader Joe’s stores in AL, CT, D.C., DE, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, NC, NE, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, SC, TN, VA, VT, and WI.

Trader Joe’s has already voluntarily removed all Infinite Herbs-brand organic basil packed in 2.5-oz clamshell packaging from their store shelves and this product should no longer be available for sale to customers at their stores.

Salmonella Outbreak linked to Cantaloupe: CDC, public health and regulatory officials in several states, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) investigated a multistate outbreak of Salmonella (Sundsvall and Oranienburg) infections. Epidemiologic, laboratory, and traceback data showed that cantaloupes were contaminated with Salmonella made people sick.

A total of 407 people infected with one of the outbreak strains of Salmonella were reported from 44 states. Illnesses started on dates ranging from October 15, 2023, to December 25, 2023. Of 362 people with information available, 158 (44%) were hospitalized. Six deaths were reported, including four from Minnesota, one from Indiana, and one from Oregon.

Of the 134 people who reported eating cantaloupe, 67 people specifically reported eating pre-cut cantaloupe and 40 reported eating whole cantaloupe. Fifty-two people resided at long-term care facilities when they got sick. Among 24 of these people interviewed, 12 reported eating cantaloupe. Forty-four children attended childcare centers when they got sick. Of 34 children with information available, 19 ate cantaloupe.

Canada also investigated this Salmonella outbreak and linked the illnesses to cantaloupes. The strain that caused illnesses in Canada was the same strain as the U.S. illnesses.

Several recalls of cantaloupe products were issued as a result of this investigation:

  • On November 1, 2023, Malichita brand cantaloupes were recalled in Canada.
  • On November 8, Trufresh recalled Malichita brand whole cantaloupes that were sold to US businesses between October 16 and October 23.
  • On November 15, Trufresh expanded their recall to include additional whole cantaloupes.
  • On November 14, Vinyard Fruit and Vegetable Company recalled pre-cut fruit products and ALDI recalled [PDF – 2 pages] its whole cantaloupe, cantaloupe chunks, and pineapple spears.
  • On November 22, 2023, Trufresh expanded their recall again to include all Malichita brand and Rudy brand whole cantaloupes. Crown Jewels recalled Malitchita brand whole cantaloupes. CF Dallas recalled pre-cut fruit products containing recalled cantaloupes.
  • On November 27, 2023, Kwik Trip recalled pre-cut cantaloupe and fruit mixes.
  • On November 28, Bix Produce recalled pre-cut fruit cups.
  • On November 29, GHGA recalled pre-cut cantaloupe products sold at Kroger, Sprouts Farmers Market, and Trader Joe’s.
  • On November 30, Cut Fruit Express recalled pre-cut cantaloupe products with use-by dates from November 4 through November 6.
  • On December 5, TGD Cuts recalled pre-cut cantaloupe products with use-by dates from November 2 through November 24.
  • Stop & Shop recalled cantaloupes purchased from October 23 through November 11.

CDC, public health and regulatory officials in several states, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) investigated a multistate outbreak of Salmonella (Sundsvall and Oranienburg) infections.

Epidemiologic, laboratory, and traceback data showed that cantaloupes were contaminated with Salmonella made people sick.

A total of 407 people infected with one of the outbreak strains of Salmonella were reported from 44 states. Illnesses started on dates ranging from October 15, 2023, to December 25, 2023. Of 362 people with information available, 158 (44%) were hospitalized. Six deaths were reported, including four from Minnesota, one from Indiana, and one from Oregon.

Of the 134 people who reported eating cantaloupe, 67 people specifically reported eating pre-cut cantaloupe and 40 reported eating whole cantaloupe. Fifty-two people resided at long-term care facilities when they got sick. Among 24 of these people interviewed, 12 reported eating cantaloupe. Forty-four children attended childcare centers when they got sick. Of 34 children with information available, 19 ate cantaloupe.

Canada also investigated this Salmonella outbreak and linked the illnesses to cantaloupes. The strain that caused illnesses in Canada was the same strain as the U.S. illnesses.

Several recalls of cantaloupe products were issued as a result of this investigation:

  • On November 1, 2023, Malichita brand cantaloupes were recalled in Canada.
  • On November 8, Trufresh recalled Malichita brand whole cantaloupes that were sold to US businesses between October 16 and October 23.
  • On November 15, Trufresh expanded their recall to include additional whole cantaloupes.
  • On November 14, Vinyard Fruit and Vegetable Company recalled pre-cut fruit products and ALDI recalled [PDF – 2 pages] its whole cantaloupe, cantaloupe chunks, and pineapple spears.
  • On November 22, 2023, Trufresh expanded their recall again to include all Malichita brand and Rudy brand whole cantaloupes. Crown Jewels recalled Malitchita brand whole cantaloupes. CF Dallas recalled pre-cut fruit products containing recalled cantaloupes.
  • On November 27, 2023, Kwik Trip recalled pre-cut cantaloupe and fruit mixes.
  • On November 28, Bix Produce recalled pre-cut fruit cups.
  • On November 29, GHGA recalled pre-cut cantaloupe products sold at Kroger, Sprouts Farmers Market, and Trader Joe’s.
  • On November 30, Cut Fruit Express recalled pre-cut cantaloupe products with use-by dates from November 4 through November 6.
  • On December 5, TGD Cuts recalled pre-cut cantaloupe products with use-by dates from November 2 through November 24.
  • Stop & Shop recalled cantaloupes purchased from October 23 through November 11.

Constituent Update

May 15, 2024

Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) posted on its website its determination that tara flour in human food does not meet the Generally Recognized As Safe (or GRAS) standard and is an unapproved food additive. The FDA’s assessment of the ingredient is detailed in a memo added to the agency’s public inventory. Increased transparency of our assessment of ingredients in the food supply is part of our approach to enhance food chemical safety.

Under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic (FD&C) Act, any ingredient used or intended for use in food must be authorized by the FDA for use as a food additive unless that use is Generally Recognized As Safe or GRAS by qualified experts or meets a listed exception to the food additive definition in the FD&C Act. An unapproved food additive is deemed to be unsafe under the FD&C Act.

In 2022, Daily Harvest used tara flour in a leek and lentil crumble product which was associated with roughly 400 adverse event reports. The firm took prompt action to voluntarily recall the product and conduct their own root cause analysis, during which they identified tara flour as a possible contributor to the illnesses. To date, the FDA has found no evidence that tara flour caused the outbreak; however, it did prompt the agency to evaluate the regulatory status of this food ingredient.

The FDA’s evaluation revealed that there is not enough data on the use of tara flour in food, or a history of its safe use, to consider it GRAS. There is no food additive regulation authorizing the use of tara flour in food.  Uses of food ingredients that are not GRAS, not authorized as food additives, and not excepted from the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic (FD&C) Act’s food additive definition are unapproved food additives. Food that is, or contains, an unsafe food additive is considered adulterated.

FDA’s Continued Monitoring of Tara Flour in the Food Supply

Manufacturers who are considering using tara flour as an ingredient in food are responsible for ensuring that its use is safe and lawful and are encouraged to consult with the FDA. At this time, the FDA is not aware of evidence that shows that tara flour is a food ingredient being developed domestically or that there are any products containing tara flour that are currently being manufactured in the U.S.

The FDA instituted screening at ports of entry for tara flour used as an ingredient in imported food or imported for sale in bulk. The agency has not detected any recent shipments of tara flour in imported products as of today.

The FDA remains committed to monitoring new ingredients in the food supply to ensure they meet relevant safety standards. The FDA’s assessment of chemicals in the food supply is part of our commitment to food safety and public health.

Additional Information

The CDC and FDA have reported that as of April 30, 2024, 12 people infected with E. coli have been reported from Washington and California. Two patients have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a serious condition that can cause kidney failure. The FDA determined that Gibson Farms, Inc of Hollister, California was the supplier of organic walnuts that were distributed to multiple natural food and co-op stores across the United States and sold in bulk bins.

Outbreak Facts: 

  • Illnesses started on dates ranging from February 1, 2024, to April 4, 2024. Of 11 people with information available, 7 (64%) have been hospitalized.
  • Walnuts were distributed to these 19 states: Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wyoming. Click here to find the full list of stores that may have sold the walnuts.
  • The true number of sick people in this outbreak is likely much higher than the number reported, and the outbreak may not be limited to the states with known illnesses. 
  • Investigators used DNA fingerprinting that revealed bacteria from sick people’s samples as closely related genetically. This suggests that people in this outbreak got sick from the same food.

Marler Clark’s work as lawyers and food safety advocates is highlighted in the Netflix Documentary “Poisoned” now streaming. See: “Poisoned”: The Dirty Truth About Your Food | Official Trailer | Netflix

Natural Sourcing International is initiating a voluntary recall of one lot of Great Value Organic Black Chia Seeds 32 oz. due to the potential presence of Salmonella that may be in some of the finished products. Salmonella can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Healthy persons infected with Salmonellaoften experience fever, diarrhea (which may be bloody), nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. In rare circumstances, infection with Salmonella can result in the organism getting into the bloodstream and producing more severe illnesses such as arterial infections (i.e., infected aneurysms), endocarditis and arthritis. While no adverse events associated with the products have been reported to date, products are being recalled out of an abundance of caution and because consumer safety is the company’s highest priority.

Specific information regarding the recalled products is as follows:

Name Size Lot Code Expiration DateUPC 
Great Value Organic Black Chia Seeds32 oz24095 C018October 30, 2026078742300665

These products can be identified by the main label on the pouch and the lot number that is printed on the bottom of the back panel of the packaging – see the example below:

Product was sent to Walmart for distribution nationwide via retail sales.

Marler Clark is proud to represent families in both of these outbreaks.

E. coli Outbreak: As of April 30, 2024, 12 people infected with the outbreak strain of E. coli have been reported from 2 states. Illnesses started on dates ranging from February 1, 2024, to April 4, 2024. Of 11 people with information available, 7 (64%) have been hospitalized. Two patients have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a serious condition that can cause kidney failure. No deaths have been reported.

WGS showed that bacteria from sick people’s samples are closely related genetically. This suggests that people in this outbreak got sick from the same food. Traceback data collected by FDA determined that Gibson Farms, Inc was the supplier of organic walnuts sold in bulk bins at stores where ill people shopped.

Salmonella Outbreak: As of April 17, 2024, a total of 12 people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella have been reported from 7 states. Illnesses started on dates ranging from February 11, 2024, to April 2, 2024. Of 11 people with information available, 1 person has been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.

WGS showed that bacteria from sick people’s samples are closely related genetically. This suggests that people in this outbreak got sick from the same food. Of 12 people interviewed, 10 (83%) reported shopping at Trader Joe’s. Seven sick people reported buying or likely buying organic basil in 2.5 oz clamshell-style containers from Trader Joe’s. Additionally, traceback data collected by FDA determined that Infinite Herbs, LLC, in Miami, Florida, was the supplier of the 2.5-oz packages of organic basil sold at Trader Joe’s stores.

According to Saudi Arabian press reports, Saudi authorities on Saturday announced that the source of an outbreak of botulism that has sickened at least 75 people and killing one has been linked to the Hamburgini restaurant chain and tracked to mayonnaise produced by “BON TUM.” 

The Ministry of Municipal, Rural Affairs and Housing announced on Saturday that lab analysis conducted by the Saudi Food and Drug Authority revealed that Clostridium botulinum bacteria, which causes Botulism, was found in a sample of “BON TUM” mayonnaise that was served by the chain.

The distribution of the mayonnaise has been halted nationwide and it will be removed from markets and food establishments across Saudi Arabia.

Clostridium botulinum is a bacterium that produces dangerous toxins-botulinum toxins-under low-oxygen conditions. Botulinum toxins are one of the most lethal substances known. They block nerve functions and can lead to respiratory and muscular paralysis.