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Italian-style Meats Salmonella Outbreak

Posted in Our Blog on August 26, 2021

Italian style meats really are delicious. Recently however, meats like salami, coppa, prosciutto, and pepperoni have been linked to a multi-state Salmonella outbreak that has resulted in 36 illnesses across 16 states. Here is what we know about this Italian-style Meats Salmonella Outbreak:

About Salmonella

Salmonella bacteria typically live in the intestines of humans and animals and are shed through feces. A common disease that affects the intestinal tract, humans usually become ill with Salmonella after consuming food or water contaminated with that feces.

First discovered in 1885, the bacteria cause an estimated 1.35 million illnesses, 26,500 hospitalizations, and 420 deaths in the United States every year. A total of 12 people have been hospitalized as a result of this recent outbreak. Nine with Salmonella Typhimurium infections, and 3 with Salmonella Infantis. No deaths have been reported, but the number of people effected is most likely higher than reported as it usually takes 3 to 4 weeks to determine if a sick person is part of an outbreak.

Often people experience zero symptoms and are un-aware that they have even contracted the bacteria. Others develop diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps within eight to 72 hours. Most healthy people recover within a few days without specific treatment, but as usual with diarrhea, it’s important to drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration. In some cases, the diarrhea associated with Salmonella infection can be so dehydrating as to require prompt medical attention and can disrupt bowel habits for several months. Life-threatening complications also may develop if the infection spreads beyond your intestines, causing infection in urine, blood, bones, joints, or the nervous system, and can cause severe disease.

Some people with Salmonella infection develop pain in their joints, called reactive arthritis, after the infection has ended. Reactive arthritis can last for months or years and can be difficult to treat. Some people with reactive arthritis develop irritation of the eyes and pain when urinating.

Your risk of acquiring Salmonella infection is higher if you travel to countries with poor sanitation.

Investigation Details in this Italian-style Meats Salmonella Outbreak

Illnesses were been reported between May 9th and July 27th of this year, with those infected ranging in age from 1 to 91 years. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC), public health and regulatory officials in several states, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA-FSIS) are collecting different types of data to investigate the outbreaks and determine a source. Epidemiologic data show that the likely sources of both outbreaks are Italian-style meats. 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.

After interviewing people about the food they ate in the week before they got sick and obtaining their shopper records, state and local public health officials determined that nearly all of them had eaten Italian-style meats, including salami, prosciutto, coppa, and soppressata, that can often be found in antipasto or charcuterie assortments; several brands were reported. The investigation is on-going to try and determine a specific source.

Causes, Symptoms, and Complications

Foods commonly infected with Salmonella include: Poultry, seafood, and raw meats such as the Italian style meats that caused this multi-state outbreak. Feces may get onto raw meat and poultry during the butchering process. Seafood may be contaminated if harvested from contaminated water. Raw eggs. While an egg’s shell may seem to be a perfect barrier to contamination, some infected chickens produce eggs that contain Salmonella before the shell is even formed. Raw eggs are used in homemade versions of mayonnaise and hollandaise sauce.

Fruits and vegetables. Some fresh produce, particularly imported varieties, may be hydrated in the field or washed during processing with water contaminated with Salmonella. Contamination also can occur in the kitchen, when juices from raw meat and poultry come into contact with uncooked foods, such as salads.

The Food and Drug Administration also indicates that some Salmonella outbreaks have been traced to contaminants in spices.

Many foods become contaminated when prepared by people who don’t wash their hands thoroughly after using the toilet or changing a diaper. Infection also can occur if you touch something that is contaminated, including pets, especially birds and reptiles, and then put your fingers in your mouth.

Most Salmonella infections can be classified as stomach flu (gastroenteritis) with possible signs and symptoms including:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Headache
  • Blood in the stool

Signs and symptoms of Salmonella infection generally last two to seven days. Diarrhea may last up to 10 days, although it may take several months before bowels return to normal.

A few varieties of Salmonella bacteria result in typhoid fever, a sometimes deadly disease that is more common in developing countries.

How can you prevent Salmonella in this Italian-style Meats Salmonella Outbreak?

Keep yourself and your loved ones safe from Salmonella by following these 5 facts provided by the CDC:

  1. You can get a Salmonella infection from a variety of foodsSalmonella can be found in many foods, including sprouts and other vegetables, eggs, chicken, pork, fruits, and even processed foods, such as nut butters, frozen pot pies, chicken nuggets, and stuffed chicken entrees. Contaminated foods usually look and smell normal, which is why it is important to know how to prevent infection.
  2. Salmonella also can spread from animals to people and from people to people. Always wash your hands after contact with animals. Also wash your hands after using the toilet, changing diapers, or helping someone with diarrhea clean up after using the toilet. If you have a Salmonella infection, you should not prepare food or drinks for others until you no longer have diarrhea.
  3. Salmonella illness is more common in the summer. Warmer weather and unrefrigerated foods create ideal conditions for Salmonella to grow. Be sure to refrigerate or freeze perishables (foods likely to spoil or go bad quickly), prepared foods, and leftovers within 2 hours (or 1 hour if the temperature outside is 90°F or hotter).
  4. Salmonella illness can be serious and is more dangerous for certain people. Anyone can get a Salmonella infection, but some people are more likely to develop a serious illness, including children younger than 5, older adults, and people with immune systems weakened from a medical condition, such as diabetes, liver or kidney disease, and cancer or its treatment.
  5. Salmonella causes far more illnesses than you might suspect. For every person with a Salmonella illness confirmed by a laboratory test, there are about 30 more people with Salmonella illnesses that are not reported. Most people who get food poisoning do not go to a doctor or submit a sample to a laboratory, so we never learn what germ made them sick.

How The Lange Law Firm Can Help

Our mission is to help families who have been harmed by contaminated food or water.  When corporations cause Salmonella food poisoning outbreaks, we use the law to hold them accountable.  The Lange Law Firm is the only law firm in the nation solely focused on helping families in food poisoning lawsuits and contaminated water lawsuits.

If you got Salmonella food poisoning in the Italian-style Meats Salmonella Outbreak and are interested in making a legal claim for compensation, we can help.  Our Salmonella lawyer can help you pursue compensation for your Salmonella food poisoning.  Call us for a free no obligation legal consultation at (833) 330-3663 or send us an e-mail here.