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Nationwide outbreak of Salmonella Montevideo infections associated with contaminated imported black and red pepper: warehouse membership cards provide critical clues to identify the source

  • L. GIERALTOWSKI (a1), E. JULIAN (a2), J. PRINGLE (a3), K. MACDONALD (a4), D. QUILLIAM (a2), N. MARSDEN-HAUG (a4), L. SAATHOFF-HUBER (a5), D. VON STEIN (a6), B. KISSLER (a7), M. PARISH (a8), D. ELDER (a8), V. HOWARD-KING (a8), J. BESSER (a3), S. SODHA (a3), A. LOHARIKAR (a1), S. DALTON (a3), I. WILLIAMS (a3) and C. BARTON BEHRAVESH (a3)
  • DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0950268812001859
  • Published online: 30 August 2012
Abstract
SUMMARY

In November 2009, we initiated a multistate investigation of Salmonella Montevideo infections with pulsed-field gel electrophoresis pattern JIXX01.0011. We identified 272 cases in 44 states with illness onset dates ranging from 1 July 2009 to 14 April 2010. To help generate hypotheses, warehouse store membership card information was collected to identify products consumed by cases. These records identified 19 ill persons who purchased company A salami products before onset of illness. A case-control study was conducted. Ready-to-eat salami consumption was significantly associated with illness (matched odds ratio 8·5, 95% confidence interval 2·1–75·9). The outbreak strain was isolated from company A salami products from an environmental sample from one manufacturing plant, and sealed containers of black and red pepper at the facility. This outbreak illustrates the importance of using membership card information to assist in identifying suspect vehicles, the potential for spices to contaminate ready-to-eat products, and preventing raw ingredient contamination of these products.

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Copyright
The online version of this article is published within an Open Access environment subject to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike licence <http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.5/>. The written permission of Cambridge University Press must be obtained for commercial re-use.
Corresponding author
*Author for correspondence: Dr L. Gieraltowski, 1600 Clifton Road NE, MS A38, Atlanta, GA 30329, USA. (Email: lax2@cdc.gov)
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5.E Cavallaro , Salmonella Typhimurium infections associated with peanut products. New England Journal of Medicine 2011; 365: 601610.

7.C Barton Behravesh , 2008 Outbreak of Salmonella Saintpaul infections associated with raw produce (Supplemental Appendix). New England Journal of Medicine 2011; 364: 918927.

17.J Schneider , Multistate outbreak of multidrug-resistant Salmonella Newport infections associated with ground beef, October to December 2007. Journal of Food Protection 2011; 74: 13151319.

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Epidemiology & Infection
  • ISSN: 0950-2688
  • EISSN: 1469-4409
  • URL: /core/journals/epidemiology-and-infection
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