At least 31 people report salmonella infections in southeastern Pennsylvania, with at least four hospitals confirming illnesses. Now, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning consumers that fresh cut fruit is the likely source of the salmonella outbreak. Read on to learn more about the recall, the outbreak and the potential dangers of salmonella.
Fresh Fruit Recall Information
In December 2019, the FDA announced a recall of Tailor Cut Produce fruit products. The New Jersey company is recalling several fresh-cut products, including:
- Fruit Luau
These products were distributed in Delaware, Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey. Production and distribution dates are between November 15 and December 2, 2019. The recalled packages are 2/1 gallon cases. Consumers can identify the products by the production date stamped on the side of the package.
Distributors who purchase these products should quarantine them and contact Tailor Cut Produce for instructions. The cases may have been distributed to healthcare and long-term care facilities. These facilities are also urged to stop using the fruit and contact the company.
Salmonella Outbreak Information
So far, there are 31 illness reports resulting from the salmonella outbreak. Many of the illnesses were reported around the Thanksgiving holiday. Local news sources suggest several people have required hospitalization due to the illness.
The cases of fruit were distributed to healthcare facilities, nursing homes and schools. Investigators are still reviewing reports that several hospitals in the Chester County area experienced outbreaks within their facilities.
This is the second salmonella outbreak linked to pre-cut fruit and melons this year. In April 2019, pre-cut melons distributed by Caito Foods, LLC were recalled after being linked to an outbreak.
Symptoms of Salmonella Infection
Salmonella infection is generally not dangerous, but can be very inconvenient and uncomfortable. The symptoms of salmonella infection may include:
- Stomach cramps
These symptoms may start within six hours of exposure, but may take as long as six days after exposure to become apparent. Most salmonella infections last between four and seven days. However, serious infections may last longer. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) urges consumers with salmonella to contact their healthcare provider if they experience the following symptoms:
- Fever higher than 102 degrees
- Diarrhea lasting more than three days
- Bloody stools
- Prolonged vomiting
- Decreased urine output
- Dizziness when standing
Is Salmonella Infection Dangerous?
Most people who become ill during a salmonella outbreak recover completely without long-term health effects. However, people with weakened immune systems, the elderly and young children are vulnerable to possible complications of the illness. The possible complications of salmonella include:
- Reactive arthritis, characterized by joint pain that develops after the infection is over.
- Changes in bowel habits.
- Infection spreading into the bloodstream.
If salmonella becomes invasive and spreads to be bloodstream, there is a risk of damage to the brain, nervous system and internal organs. The CDC notes the following about invasive salmonella infections:
- They can be life-threatening.
- They occur in around 8% of confirmed salmonella infections.
- Invasive infections may be the result of:
- Bacteremia – an infection of the blood.
- Meningitis – an infection of the membrnes lining the spinal cord and brain.
- Osteomyelitis – an infection of the bones.
- Septic arthritis – an infection of the joints.
It is important that anyone with a weak immune system, children under two years old and the elderly be cautious during a salmonella outbreak. While invasive infections are not common, they are dangerous. Patients and healthcare providers should not underestimate the possible danger of salmonella.
How to Stay Safe During a Salmonella Outbreak
If you live in an area where there is an active salmonella outbreak, you may be wondering how to stay safe and avoid infection. Here are some tips for staying safe during a salmonella outbreak:
- Wash your hands after contact with raw meat, eggs and vegetables. Salmonella often spreads through food, which may show no signs of being contaminated.
- Wash your hands after contact with live animals.
- Salmonella can spread through feces, so always wash your hands and sanitize the area after changing diapers, cleaning bathrooms or helping someone else in the bathroom.
- Warm temperatures help salmonella grow. Keep perishable food refrigerated or frozen appropriately.
- Keep up-to-date on local news relating to the outbreak.
- If you have symptoms of salmonella infection, contact your healthcare provider as soon as possible.
- If you have salmonella infection, avoid preparing food or drink for other people.
In addition to following these tips for staying safe, you can also stay up-to-date on the latest recall and salmonella outbreak news by following Bad Food Recall. We update our website and social media pages as soon as possible to make sure that our readers have all information possible to stay safe.
If you have questions about a food recall, you can also contact us directly to learn more. Call Bad Food Recall toll free at 1-877-534-5750, or complete our online contact form.