Fifty-three people in nine states have been infected with a Salmonella bacterium that is likely linked to sushi made with raw tuna. Ten victims have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.
All fell ill from March 6th to May 2nd and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) officials say more victims are expected. While most cases have occurred in California (31) and Arizona (10), the outbreak has also appeared in Illinois (1), Mississippi (1), New Mexico (6), South Dakota (1), Virginia (1), Washington State (1), and Wisconsin (1).
Although the exact source of the outbreak hasn’t yet been confirmed by public health officials, nearly all (92%) of those who fell ill reported eating sushi with raw tuna in the week before they became ill. “At this time, a common brand or supplier of raw tuna linked to illnesses has not been identified, and there are no specific steps for restaurants, retailers, or consumers to take to protect their customers or themselves,” the CDC told the website Food Safety News.
The outbreak victims were infected with Salmonella Paratyphi B variant L(+) tartrate(+). The illness caused by this bacterium typically includes diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps 12-72 hours after an exposure. It does not cause paratyphoid fever, enteric fever, or typhoid fever.
If you think you might be sick with a Salmonella infection, seek medical attention.
Regardless of the ongoing outbreak, everyone who is at a high-risk of acquiring a foodborne illness—individuals over the age of 65, children under 5, pregnant women, or anyone immunocompromised—should follow CDC’s recommendations to avoid raw fish or shellfish.
CDC’s summary of the outbreak and the latest updates can be found here.
Updates from the FDA can be found here.
More information about Salmonella can be found here.