Tuesday, May 3, 2011
SALMONELLA OUTBREAK SEASON IS BEGINNING IN THE U.S.
Salmonella bacteria are a very common cause of food poisoning. Usually, the symptoms are ones like diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, abdominal pain or cramps, weakness, fever. These organisms can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, people with weakened immune systems and those who are frail or elderly. Some members of this family of bacteria are particularly vicious.
Most Salmonella outbreaks in the United States food supply, and particularly in fresh produce, occur in the spring or early summer…In other words, about now. And right on schedule, here we go. During the last 12 days, Salmonella has cropped up in several of those nice healthy foods most of us eat, which are now being recalled:
• In cucumbers, distributed by L&M Companies, Inc. of Raleigh, North Carolina. There aren’t many recalls of cucumbers, so this is somewhat unusual.
• In alfalfa sprouts, distributed by Jonathan's Sprouts of Rochester, MA. Alfalfa sprouts are one of the riskiest food you can eat, and every year there are a number of outbreaks and recalls.
• In cilantro, distributed to food service customers, by Satur Farms of Cutchogue, New York. Salmonella in cilantro is also not unusual.
• In grape tomatoes grown by Six L’s of Immokalee, Fla.. In turn, these tomatoes were used by Taylor Farms Pacific of Tracy, California, for some 70 different ready-to-eat salads for Albertsons, Raley's, Safeway, Savemart, Sam's Club, & Walmart. (Wouldn’t you think that a label which includes the word “Farms” would be growing their own produce instead of bringing it from Florida?). For the entire list of RTE products under recall, go to: http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm253580.htm (It is too long to reproduce here).
There are more to come. Summer is just beginning. So is Salmonella season.