Salmonella outbreak investigation continues

by Bryan Salvage
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WASHINGTON — Investigations are continuing by the Food and Drug Administration, along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service and the Rhode Island Department of Health and other states, regarding an outbreak of Salmonella Montevideo infections associated with certain Italian-style sausage products including salami/salame.

Two-hundred and thirty-eight people have been infected with a matching strain of Salmonella Montevideo in at least 44 states and the District of Columbia, C.D.C. said. C.D.C. and public health officials in many states conducted an epidemiologic study by comparing foods eaten by 41 ill and 41 well persons. Analysis of this study identified salami/salame as a possible source of illness. Click here to view the study.

Daniele International Inc. has since recalled a variety of ready-to-eat Italian-style meats. The recalled products, including salami and Hot Sopressata Calabrese, are regulated by the U.S.D.A.-F.S.I.S. A complete listing of all recalled products and a list of the stores that sold these products can be viewed here.

F.D.A. is investigating the supply chains of both black and red pepper used in processing the recalled meat products. The agency is analyzing 153 composite pepper samples, which represent more than 4,000 individual samples. To date, samples from two lots of crushed red pepper collected from Daniele International Inc. have tested positive for Salmonella. F.D.A. is working to determine if the type of Salmonella found in the samples matches the outbreak strain.

Based on F.D.A.’s and the state of Rhode Island’s confirmed test results, the supplier of crushed red pepper, Wholesome Spice, Brooklyn, N.Y., is recalling 25-lb. boxes of crushed red pepper sold from April 6, 2009, to Jan. 20, 2010: http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm202113.htm. The agency continues to investigate and work with Wholesome Spice to determine the source of the crushed red pepper contamination.

Wholesome Spice sells spices directly to commercial customers, who may have incorporated them into their own products. F.D.A. is currently working with Wholesome Spice to identify the customers who received the recalled product and determine if further recalls are necessary.
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