CDC Reports Outbreak of Salmonella
Serotype Saintpaul Infections Associated with Eating Alfalfa Sprouts
of Article: http://www.marlerblog.com/
MMWR Today - Since February 1, a total of 228 cases have been reported
from 13 states: Nebraska (110 cases), Iowa (35), South Dakota (35), Michigan
(18), Kansas (eight), Pennsylvania (seven), Minnesota (five), Ohio (three),
Illinois (two), West Virginia (two), Florida (one), North Carolina (one),
and Utah (one) (Figure 2). Patients range in age from <1 year to 85
years (median: 29 years); 69% are female. Among patients with available
information, 4% reported being hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.
On February 24, 2009, the
Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services identified six isolates of
Salmonella serotype Saintpaul with collection dates from February 7--14.
Salmonella Saintpaul is not a commonly detected serotype; during 2008, only
three Salmonella Saintpaul isolates were identified in Nebraska. This
report summarizes the preliminary results of the investigation of this
outbreak, which has identified 228 cases in 13 states and implicated the
source as alfalfa sprouts produced at multiple facilities using seeds that
likely originated from a common grower. On April 26, the Food and Drug
Administration (FDA) and CDC recommended that consumers not eat raw alfalfa
sprouts, including sprout blends containing alfalfa sprouts, until further
notice. On May 1, FDA alerted sprout growers and retailers that a seed
supplier was withdrawing voluntarily from the market all lots of alfalfa
seeds with a specific three-digit prefix.
For this investigation, a
case was defined as illness in a person whose stool culture on or after
February 1, 2009, yielded Salmonella Saintpaul with the outbreak strain
pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) patterns (XbaI JN6X01.0072,
JN6X01.0252, JN6X01.0340, JN6X01.0709, JN6X01.0712, JN6X01.0718, or
JN6X01.0719). During January 1, 2008 to January 31, 2009, only four cases
of the outbreak strain of Salmonella Saintpaul were identified by PulseNet.
By March 19, a total of
186 cases had been identified in Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota,
Nebraska, and South Dakota. Of the 156 patients with completed interviews,
114 (73%) reported alfalfa sprout consumption.
In mid-April, 42
additional case-patients with onset of illness beginning after March 15
were identified from Florida, Iowa, North Carolina, Michigan, Minnesota,
Nebraska, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Utah, and West Virginia. At least 20 of these
case-patients reported recently eating sprouts. Alfalfa sprouts eaten by
these case-patients were traced back to growing facilities in Michigan,
Minnesota, and Pennsylvania that received seed lots identified with prefix
032 from Caudill Seed Company. Alfalfa sprout irrigation water collected on
March 10 from a growing facility in Wisconsin grew Salmonella Saintpaul
indistinguishable from the outbreak strain. These sprouts also were grown
from a seed lot identified with prefix 032 received from Caudill Seed
Company. No human illnesses have been linked to the Wisconsin facility.
Preliminary findings indicate that the implicated seed lots were sold in
many states and might account for a large proportion of the alfalfa seeds
that were being used by sprout growers during this outbreak.
We presently have nearly
a dozen clients from several states. Four Lawsuits have been filed.
on May 7, 2009 by Salmonella Lawyer