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Red Onion Salmonella Outbreak Explodes in US and Canada

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According to Canada, as of July 30, 2020, there have been 114 confirmed cases of Salmonella Newport illness linked to this outbreak in the following provinces: British Columbia (43), Alberta (55), Manitoba (13), Ontario (2), and Prince Edward Island (1). The individual from Prince Edward Island reported traveling to Alberta before becoming ill. Saskatchewan has not reported any confirmed illnesses related to this outbreak, but provincial public health authorities are investigating some Salmonella Newport illnesses in the province.

Individuals became sick between mid-June and mid-July 2020. Information is available for 102 illnesses. Out of 102 people, 16 individuals have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported. Individuals who became ill are between 3 and 100 years of age. The majority of cases (56%) are female.

Individuals who became ill reported eating red onions at home, in menu items ordered at restaurants and in residential care settings. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is conducting a food safety investigation. If contaminated food products are identified, CFIA will take the necessary steps to protect the public, including recalling the product as required.

According to Canada, the U.S. CDC is also investigating an outbreak of Salmonella Newport illnesses that have a similar genetic fingerprint to illnesses reported in this outbreak. Investigators in Canada and the U.S. continue to collaborate to exchange information and identify commonalities in the outbreak information that may identify additional sources of illness or help to identify the cause of contamination in the red onions.

The United States has been silent since July 24, 2020.  As of July 23, 2020, a total of 212 people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Newport have been reported from 23 states.

Illnesses started on dates ranging from June 19, 2020, to July 11, 2020, Ill people range in age from 0 to 92 years, with a median age of 40. Fifty-four percent of ill people are female. Of 117 ill people with information available, 31 hospitalizations have been reported. No deaths have been reported.

Whole genome sequencing analysis of 48 isolates from ill people did not predict any antibiotic resistance. Standard antibiotic susceptibility testing by CDC’s National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS) laboratory is currently underway.

On July 10, 2020, CDC PulseNet identified an outbreak of 13 Salmonella Newport infections in three states. Since being identified, the outbreak has rapidly grown to a total of 212 infections in 23 states.

State and local public health officials are interviewing ill people to determine what they ate and other exposures in the week before their illness started. CDC encourages people experiencing symptoms of a Salmonella infection to report their illness to their local health department and participate in these interviews. This information is vital for public health officials to identify the source of this outbreak and to take steps to prevent additional illnesses.

At this time, the investigation has not identified a specific food, grocery store, or restaurant as the source of this outbreak. CDC will provide more information as it becomes available.

Republished with permission from Bill Marler and Marler Clark. Copyright (c) Marler Clark LLP, PS. All rights reserved.



Source: https://www.marlerblog.com/legal-cases/red-onion-salmonella-outbreak-explodes-in-us-and-canada/


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