Jennie-O – say it ain’t so! 216 with Salmonella, 175 Hospitalized with 1 Death from Ground Turkey

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Since the last update on November 8, 2018, 52 ill people from 26 states and the District of Columbia have been added to this investigation. As of December 18, 2018, 216 people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Reading have been reported from 38 states and the District of Columbia. A list of the states and the number of cases in each can be found on the Map of Reported Cases page.

Illnesses started on dates from November 20, 2017, to December 6, 2018. Ill people range in age from less than 1 year to 99, with a median age of 40. Fifty-five percent of ill people are female. Of 175 people with information available, 84 (48%) have been hospitalized. One death has been reported from California.

Whole genome sequencing analysis (WGS) did not identify predicted antibiotic resistance in 132 isolates from 61 ill people and 71 food and animal samples. However, 80 isolates from ill people and 97 isolates from food, animal, and environmental samples contained genes for resistance or decreased susceptibility to all or some of the following antibiotics: ampicillin, streptomycin, sulfamethoxazole, tetracycline, kanamycin, gentamicin, nalidixic acid, ciprofloxacin, and fosfomycin. Testing of six outbreak isolates using standard antibiotic susceptibility testing by CDC’s National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS) laboratory confirmed these results. Most of the infections in this outbreak are susceptible to the antibiotics that are commonly used for treatment, so this resistance likely will not affect the choice of antibiotic used to treat most people.

State and local health departments continue to interview ill people about the foods they ate and other exposures in the week before they became ill. Fifty-eight (54%) of the 108 ill people interviewed reported preparing or eating turkey products that were purchased raw, including ground turkey, turkey pieces, and whole turkey. Ill people reported buying many different brands of raw turkey products from multiple stores. Also, 3 of the 108 ill people interviewed became sick after pets in their home ate raw ground turkey pet food. Four of the 108 ill people interviewed worked in a facility that raises or processes turkeys, or lived with someone who did.

Public health officials in Arizona and Michigan collected unopened Jennie-O brand ground turkey from the homes of two ill people. WGS showed that Salmonella bacteria isolated from the ill persons and from the ground turkey were closely related genetically. This result provides more evidence that people in this outbreak got sick from eating turkey.

On November 15, 2018, Jennie-O Turkey Store Sales, LLC, in Barron, Wisconsin recalled approximately 91,388 pounds of raw ground turkey products. On December 21, 2018, Jennie-O Turkey Store Sales, LLC, in Faribault, Minnesota recalled approximately 164,210 pounds of raw ground turkey products.

Ill people in this outbreak report buying many different brands of raw turkey products from multiple stores. Available data indicate that this strain of Salmonella Reading may be present in live turkeys and in raw turkey products. A single, common supplier of raw turkey products or of live turkeys has not been identified that could account for the whole outbreak.

Salmonella:  Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of Salmonella outbreaks. The Salmonella lawyers of Marler Clark have represented thousands of victims of Salmonella and other foodborne illness outbreaks and have recovered over $650 million for clients.  Marler Clark is the only law firm in the nation with a practice focused exclusively on foodborne illness litigation.  Our Salmonella lawyers have litigated Salmonella cases stemming from outbreaks traced to a variety of foods, such as cantaloupe, tomatoes, ground turkey, salami, sprouts, cereal, peanut butter, and food served in restaurants.  The law firm has brought Salmonella lawsuits against such companies as Cargill, ConAgra, Peanut Corporation of America, Sheetz, Taco Bell, Subway and Wal-Mart.

If you or a family member became ill with a Salmonella infection, including Reactive Arthritis or Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), after consuming food and you’re interested in pursuing a legal claim, contact the Marler Clark Salmonella attorneys for a free case evaluation.

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