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Salmonella Statistics

Salmonellosis is one of the most common bacterial foodborne illnesses caused by eating food contaminated with the Salmonella bacterium. It can be life-threatening to small babies, the elderly, people undergoing chemo, who are infected with HIV or have a weak immune system for other reasons. When national salmonella outbreaks occur, it can be scary, but salmonella poisoning is much more common than you may think. 

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Salmonella poisoning is the second most common cause of food poisoning in the U.S. It’s right behind the stomach bug, Norovirus. Approximately 1.35 million people a year are affected, and 420 die from it. 

  • 95% of Salmonella infection cases are food-borne
  • The leading causes of salmonella infections can be linked to eating meat, eggs, and fresh produce that are contaminated with animal or human feces.
  • Approximately 26,500 people are hospitalized with Salmonella infection each year. 
  • The estimated 1.35 million people in the United States that are infected with Salmonella annually result in an estimated $365 million in direct medical costs.
  • One-third of untreated patients experience complications and account for three-fourths of deaths associated with salmonellosis. 
  • As of 2018, Mississippi had the highest rate of Salmonella in the United States, with almost 40 new cases per every 100,000 population. South Dakota came in second, with over 35 new cases per every 100,000 population. 
  • Salmonella infection rates are highest in people younger than 20 years or older than 70 years
  • Children under 5 years old are the most likely to get a Salmonella infection.
  • Worldwide estimates of nontyphoid Salmonella range from 200 million to 1.3 billion, with an estimated death toll of 3 million each year. 
  • There are many different kinds of Salmonella bacteria. Salmonella serotype Typhimurium and Salmonella serotype Enteritidis are the most common in the United States.
  • Salmonella infections commonly lead to gastroenteritis, which is an inflation of the stomach and intestines and may result in vomiting or diarrhea.
  • While rare, Salmonella poisoning can lead to severe invasive infections, such as meningitis. Invasive Salmonella infections are responsible for 400-600 deaths in the U.S. each year. 
  • Invasive Salmonella infection is most prevalent among infants in the United States. 
  • Typhoid fever, a life-threatening illness caused by Typhoidal Salmonella, is diagnosed in approximately 350 people each year in the U.S., and 90 people are diagnosed with paratyphoid fever. However, these estimates do not include unreported illnesses. The CDC estimates 5,700 are actually affected by typhoid fever each year in the U.S. 
  • Some people develop reactive arthritis after a salmonella infection, causing pain in the joints. Reactive arthritis can last for months or years and may be challenging to treat. Some people also develop irritation of the eyes and pain when urinating if they have reactive arthritis.
  • Symptoms of Salmonellosis begin 6 hours to 6 days after exposure and can last from 4 to 7 days.
  • Diagnosing Salmonella infection requires testing a stool or blood sample.
  • Salmonella infections are more common in the summer than in winter. 
  • If the bacteria causing Salmonella is in small amounts, it is not likely to cause an infection. However, a child under the age of 6 or adults above 65 with compromised immunity are likely to be affected by the infection.

Recent Salmonella Outbreak Investigations Linked to Food

Date Brand Name Product Description # of People Affected Case Status
1/31/21 Jule’s Jule’s cashew brie (classic)

Jule’s truffle cashew brie

Jule’s black garlic cashew brie

Jule’s artichoke spinach dip

Jule’s vegan ranch dressing

Illnesses: 7

Hospitalizations: 3

Deaths: 0

States: 3

12/28/20 Plainville Brands, LLC 1-lb. Nature’s Promise Free from 

94% | 6% Ground Turkey

1-lb. Wegman 94% | 6% 

Ground Turkey

3-lb. Wegman 94% | 6% 

Ground Turkey

1-lb. Plainville Farms 

Ground White Turkey 93% | 7% 

Illnesses: 33

Hospitalizations: 4

Deaths: 0

States: 14

6/29/20 Prima Wawona Peaches Illnesses: 101

Hospitalizations: 28

Deaths: 0

States: 17

6/19/20 Thomson Premium, TLC Thomson International, Tender Loving Care, 

El Competitor, Hartley’s Best, Onions 52, Majestic, Imperial Fresh, Kroger, 

Utah Onions, and Food Lion

Red, White, Yellow, and Sweet Yellow Onions Illnesses: 1,127

Hospitalizations: 167

Deaths: 0

States: 48

1/21/20 Shirakiku Wood Ear Mushrooms (kikurage or dried fungus) Illnesses: 55

Hospitalizations: 6

Deaths: 0

States: 12



How to Report a Salmonella Infection

Suspected cases of salmonella infections should be reported to your local health department, also referred to as the county or city health department. Information on how to locate and contact your local health department can be found on your state health department website

Ask to speak to an environmental health specialist or sanitarian about a potential foodborne illness. Public health officials investigate outbreaks to control them so more people do not get sick in the outbreak and to learn how to prevent similar outbreaks from happening in the future. An outbreak is when two or more people report the same illness from consuming the same contaminated food or drink. 

Signs and Symptoms of Salmonella Infection

Salmonella infection is caused by consuming undercooked or raw poultry, meats, and dairy products. The period for incubation of this disease can range from a few hours to several days.

The common signs of Salmonella infection are:

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

The virus can be classified as gastroenteritis which in layman terms is stomach flu. While the symptoms of this infection don’t last more than a week, it can take a few months for the bowel movements to normalize.

Is Salmonella Contagious?

Salmonella is a highly contagious infection spread by the infected person even if they don’t show any signs and symptoms of the disease. Person-to-person transmission of salmonella occurs when an infected person’s feces, unwashed from his or her hands, contaminates food during preparation or comes into direct contact with another person. Salmonella can also be acquired directly from animals such as pets, birds, fish, dogs, cats, and turtles. The FDA banned the sale of turtles smaller than 4 inches wide in 1975 to prevent the spread of salmonella.

People are far more likely to contract salmonellosis at home than in a restaurant. Be sure to always wash hands with soap and water after using the restroom and before handling foods.

If you or someone you love has suffered from Salmonella food poisoning, schedule a free consultation with a highly experienced Salmonella Lawyer today.