Salmonella Outbreak Spreads

The CDC hasn’t pinpointed the source of the contamination.

October 06, 2021

Take Out Container Contaminated by Salmonella

CHICAGO—A salmonella outbreak, first detected on Sept. 2, is still spreading, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is unsure of the source, reports Restaurant Business Magazine. It is believed that the outbreak is restaurant related.

Last week, the CDC reported that 419 people were sick in 35 states with 66 people needing to be hospitalized. The week prior, the CDC reported that 279 people had been infected in 29 states, and 26 people were in the hospital.

The highest number of cases are in Texas (111), Oklahoma (63) and Virginia (38). The CDC said infections occurred from June 19 and Sept. 14, and it can take up to four weeks for symptoms to start once a person has been infected.

According to the CDC, food items were tested by state and local officials at some of the restaurants where sick people ate. The outbreak strain of Salmonella Oranienburg was found in a sample taken from a takeout condiment cup containing cilantro and lime. The sick person reported that the condiment container also contained onions, but none were left in the cup when it was tested.

“Because multiple food items were present in the container and in the sample that was tested, it is not possible to know which food item was contaminated. We are using this information in conjunction with other available information to help narrow the list of possible foods linked to illness,” writes the CDC.

NACS has several food-safety resources for foodservice providers. Find them on the Food Safety topics page.

The CDC posts food safety alerts and investigation notices for multistate foodborne disease outbreaks. Click here for a list of the latest outbreaks.