An outbreak of salmonella is affecting nearly two dozen states, according to federal health officials.
A new outbreak known as Salmonella Newport was identified by the CDC on July 10. And over the last few weeks, the total number of cases included in the outbreak has been growing.
What initially started as 13 Salmonella Newport infections in three states. Has rapidly grown to hundreds of infections in nearly half the states in the U.S.
A total of 212 people have been infected with a strain of Salmonella Newport in 23 states. Since the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s last update on July 21. 87 new cases have been reported, including 38 from eight new states. Florida, Maine, North Dakota, South Dakota, Virginia, Idaho, Arizona, and Nebraska. The CDC said 31 people have been hospitalized but to date, no deaths have been reported.
“This outbreak is rapidly growing in size,” the CDC stated in a release Friday. Noting that a specific food item, grocery store, or restaurant chain has not been identified as the source of infections.
Oregon and Utah have reported the most infections, with 51 and 40, respectively. A map of the states affected by the salmonella outbreak can be found here.
According to the CDC, the illnesses associated with the current outbreak started on dates ranging from June 19, 2020, to July 11, 2020. Ages of people infected with this current outbreak range from 0 to 92 years. With a median age of 40, and about 54% of people who are ill are female.
What should you do to protect your health
It is difficult to know whether a product is contaminated with Salmonella because you can’t see, smell or taste it. To help prevent Salmonella infections, the following tips may help reduce your risk of getting sick. But they may not fully eliminate the risk of illness.
- Wash your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds before and after handling raw meat and fresh produce.
- Cook food to a safe internal temperature that has been checked using a digital thermometer.
- Keep raw food away from other food while shopping, storing, repackaging, cooking, and serving food.
- Wash fresh produce thoroughly under fresh, cool, running water, even if you plan to peel them. This helps prevent the spread of any bacteria that may be present.
- Never rinse raw meat before using it because the bacteria can spread everywhere the water splashes, creating more of a safety hazard.
- Sanitize countertops, cutting boards and utensils before and after preparing food. Use a kitchen sanitizer or a bleach solution (5 ml household bleach to 750 mL of water), and rinse with water.
- You should use paper towels to wipe kitchen surfaces, or change dishcloths daily to avoid the risk of cross-contamination and the spread of bacteria, and avoid using sponges as they are harder to keep bacteria-free.
- Use one cutting board for produce, and a separate one for raw meat, poultry, fish, and seafood.
- Place peeled or cut fruits and vegetables on a separate clean plate or in a container to prevent them from becoming cross-contaminated.
Symptoms of a Salmonella infection, called salmonellosis, typically start 6 to 72 hours after exposure to Salmonella bacteria from an infected animal, person, or contaminated product.
- Nausea, vomiting
- Stomach cramps