Patient Count Rises in Salmonella Outbreak; Ongoing FDA investigations for other outbreaks

Public health officials have confirmed more patients in an outbreak of Salmonella Hartford infections, but the source of the pathogen is still unknown.

The patient count is now 47, up from 31 a week ago, according to the Food and Drug Administration research team. The agency continues to search for the root source of Salmonella and reports that it is continuing with the tracing efforts. However, the agency has not disclosed what foods are being traced.

Other than the number of confirmed patients, the FDA has not released any information about them. The agency has not disclosed which states the patients live in and has not disclosed their ages.

Other ongoing outbreaks
In an outbreak that has caused hepatitis A virus liver infections, the CDC reduced the number of patients from nine to five. The FDA did not release any details about the CDC’s decision to exclude the four patients, and the CDC has not released any information of its own about the outbreak.

As with the Salmonella Hartford outbreak, the FDA has not reported the age range of hepatitis A patients where they live.

The FDA has begun traceback efforts, but has not reported which food or foods are being traced. The agency has also begun sample collection and analysis, but has not reported where the samples are being collected.

for an outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes infections, the Food and Drug Administration is continuing its tracing efforts. The source of the outbreak continues to be listed as unknown.

The FDA has also begun onsite inspection and sample analysis, but has not yet reported which foods or locations are involved in the investigation.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there have been 11 people infected in 10 states. Ten of the patients have been so sick that they had to be admitted to hospitals. No deaths have been reported.

The outbreak is long-standing and patients were identified from July 2018 to January of this year, according to the CDC. Patients range in age from 47 to 88 years, with a median age of 73. One quarter of patients are women.

Public health officials continue to interview patients to find out what foods they ate in the weeks before they got sick. It can take anywhere from several days to more than two months for symptoms of Listeria infection to develop.

The patients have been identified and linked using whole genome sequencing, which provides DNA fingerprints of the bacteria. The patient samples have the same genetic signatures, showing that they are all part of a single outbreak.

The sick live across the country, suggesting nationally distributed food. The patients live in Washington, California, Colorado, South Dakota, Missouri, Arkansas, Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina.

In another shoot, FDA has identified enoki mushrooms distributed by Utopia Foods Inc. of Glendale, NY, and imported from China, and enoki mushrooms labeled “Producer: Shandong Youhe Biotechnology, Co.”, with an address in China and “Distributed by: Sun Hong Food Inc. as likely sources of Listeria monocytogenes infections.

Enoki mushrooms are long, slender white mushrooms, usually sold in bunches. They are especially popular in East Asian cuisine and are also known as enokitake, golden marlin, futu, shellfish, or lily mushroom. There have been about 20 recalls of a wide variety of brands of imported enoki mushrooms in the United States in the past two years due to Listeria contamination.

As of its most recent outbreak update on January 18, the CDC reported three patients included in this outbreak. Through continued importation and sampling of enoki mushroom products, two Listeria monocytogenes strains detected in enoki mushroom products have been determined by whole genome sequencing to be the same disease-linked Listeria monocytogenes strains in this outbreak. Both strains are included in this outbreak investigation.

Additional sample collection and analysis by the Maryland Department of Health also identified the two outbreak strains of Listeria monocytogenes in two samples of enoki mushroom products. These products that have tested positive have the following printed on their packaging “Producer: Shandong Youhe Biotechnology Co.”, with an address in China, and “Distributed by: Sun Hong Foods, Inc.”

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James D. Brown
James D. Brown
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