Salame stick packaged snacks sold primarily at Trader Joe’s stores have been linked to possible salmonella contamination, sickening people in eight states, including Michigan, health officials warned.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued the food safety alert Saturday afternoon, citing the Citterio brand of Premium Italian-Style Salame Sticks as the likely source of the outbreak.
Trader Joe’s stores have voluntarily stopped selling the products at their stores nationwide, the CDC says.
People should not eat the Citterio brand Premium Italian-Style Salame Sticks, the CDC says, purchased from Trader Joe’s or another store. If you have the product, no matter what the best-by date is, the CDC says it should be thrown out. The CDC also advises that people wash items and surfaces that may have touched the products using hot soapy water or a dishwasher.
The CDC’s alert says there have been 20 people who have become sick in eight states. So far in Michigan, three people have become sick, according to the CDC’s outbreak map.
Those who became ill ranged in age from 2 to 75, with a median age of 11, according to investigation details. Three people have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.
Most of those who have become sick, are younger than 18 years old.
“Children are more likely to get very sick from salmonella,” the CDC says.
Although a total of 20 people have reportedly been infected, the number of sick people is likely much higher, the CDC says.
“This is because many infected people recover without medical care and are not tested for salmonella,” the CDC says.
Of the nine people interviewed about foods they ate before becoming sick, eight said they ate or possibly ate the salame sticks, the CDC says.
This outbreak is a different strain of salmonella and not related to ongoing outbreaks. In the past week, the CDC linked raw onions imported from Chihuahua, Mexico, to an ongoing salmonella outbreak in 37 states, including Michigan, that was first announced in August.
About salmonella infections
- Symptoms of a salmonella infection included diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps. They typically show up six hours to six days after being exposed to the bacteria, the CDC says.
- Salmonella may spread from the intestines to the bloodstream, and then to other places in the body.
- The illness usually lasts four to seven days, and most people recover without treatment.
- In rare cases, salmonella infection can cause death unless the person is treated promptly with antibiotics.
- People with weakened immune systems, children younger than 5 and adults older than 65 years are more likely to have a severe illness.
If you have severe salmonella symptoms, contact your health care provider.
Severe symptoms of salmonella, according to the CDC, include:
- Diarrhea and a fever higher than 102 degrees.
- Diarrhea for more than three days that is not improving.
- Bloody diarrhea.
- So much vomiting that you cannot keep liquids down.
- Signs of dehydration, such asnot urinating much, dry mouth and throat, feeling dizzy when standing up.
CDC advice to help prevent salmonella infection
- Clean: Wash your hands and surfaces often. Wash fruits and vegetables before eating, cutting or peeling.
- Separate: Keep foods that won’t be cooked before they are eaten — such as fresh fruit, salads and deli meats — away from raw meat, poultry and seafood.
- Cook: To a temperature high enough to kill germs. Ground beef, veal, pork and lamb should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160 degrees. All poultry products should be cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
- Chill: Refrigerate perishable foods within 2 hours; 1 hour if it’s 90 degrees or hotter outside.
The CDC estimates that salmonella bacteria causes more than 1 million infections, 26,500 hospitalizations and 420 deaths in the U.S. every year, and most of the illnesses come from food.
Contact Detroit Free Press food writer Sue Selasky and send food and restaurant news to: 313-222-6872 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @SusanMariecooks on Twitter.
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