ATLANTA – An investigation is underway into two multi-state outbreaks of Salmonella infections — one involving Salmonella Typhimurium and one with Salmonella Infantis infections — linked to Italian-style meats, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention said. Investigators are working to identify which meat brands and products are causing the illnesses. No deaths were reported in either outbreak.
The agency is collaborating with public health officials in several states and the Food Safety and Inspection Service of the US Department of Agriculture. A total of 36 people are infected with either Salmonella outbreak strain. This includes 23 people who are part of the Salmonella Typhimurium outbreak and 13 people who are part of the Salmonella Infantis outbreak.
Whole genome sequencing showed that the bacteria from case patient samples are closely related genetically, which suggests that people in both outbreaks got sick from eating the same food.
“Epidemiologic data show that the likely sources of both outbreaks are Italian-style meats,” CDC said. “Investigators are working to determine specific brands and products that are causing illnesses and whether the outbreaks are linked to the same Italian-style meat brands and products.”
In the Salmonella Typhimurium outbreak, 23 cases were confirmed in 14 states. Case patients range in age from 4 to 91 years. Nine out of 21 individuals with information available have been hospitalized.
“State and local public health officials interviewed people about the foods they ate in the week before they got sick,” CDC said. “Officials also obtained sick people’s shopper records with their consent. Of the 16 people with information, 14 (88%) ate Italian-style meats, including salami, prosciutto, coppa, and Sopressata, that can often be found in antipasto or charcuterie assortments; several brands were reported.”
The agency noted that that this percentage was significantly higher than the 40% of respondents who reported eating pepperoni or other Italian-style meats, which suggests that people in this outbreak were sickened by Italian-style meats.
Thirteen case patients from seven states were confirmed in the Salmonella Infantis outbreak. Individuals range in age from 1 to 74 years, CDC said. Of 10 people with information available, three have been hospitalized.
Of the eight people with information, all reported eating Italian-style meats, including salami and prosciutto in the week before they got sick.
CDC is advising consumers at higher risk for severe Salmonella illness to heat Italian-style meats to an internal temperature of 165°F or until steaming hot before eating.