CDC: Salmonella outbreak from bean sprouts has ended

By Joseph James Whitworth contact

- Last updated on GMT

Wonton Foods was the producer of the contaminated products
Wonton Foods was the producer of the contaminated products
An outbreak of Salmonella from bean sprouts that sickened 115 people has ended, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Salmonella Enteritidis illnesses were reported from 12 states with 25% of people being hospitalized.

Wonton Foods was the likely source of the outbreak​.

Contaminated bean sprouts produced by the company should no longer be available given the maximum 12-day shelf life of mung bean sprouts.

Contaminated bean sprouts

In interviews, 61 of 85 ill persons reported eating bean sprouts or items containing bean sprouts in the week before becoming ill, said the CDC.

Wonton Foods agreed to destroy any remaining products while they did cleaning and sanitization and implemented other Salmonella control measures in November.

The firm resumed shipment of bean sprouts at the end of the month.

Although some restaurants also received bean sprouts from other suppliers, Wonton Foods was the only one common to all and was the sole supplier of bean sprouts to at least two of the restaurants.

The number of illnesses in each state was: Connecticut (8), Maine (4), Maryland (6), Massachusetts (36), Montana (1), New Hampshire (6), New York (22), Ohio (3), Pennsylvania (18), Rhode Island (7), Vermont (3), and Virginia (1).

The one ill person from Montana traveled to the Eastern US during the likely exposure period.

Illness onset dates were from September 30 to December 15, ranged from younger than 1 year to 83 years, with a median age of 32 years and 64% were female.

Public health investigators used the PulseNet system to identify illnesses in the outbreak.

DNA "fingerprinting" is performed on Salmonella bacteria isolated from ill persons using a technique called pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE).

Two PFGE patterns were included this investigation, said the CDC.

Both PFGE patterns are rarely reported to the PulseNet database. On average, fewer than 10 types of Salmonella bacteria with these PFGE patterns are reported to PulseNet each year.

Whole genome sequencing was also performed on 16 of the clinical isolates, and all were determined to be highly related to one another.

Listeria recall update

Meanwhile, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has updated the recall warning linked to an ongoing Listeria outbreak that has hospitalized two people and has been linked to the death of another.

Queseria Bendita has now recalled all lots of Panela, Queso Fresco, Requeson, Cotija fresh soft cheese products and sour cream to include all best by dates – previously it was until April 16​.

Products were distributed to Hispanic grocery stores in Washington and Oregon and the firm also sold from its on-site store in Yakima, Washington.

They are packaged with clear plastic wrapper or plastic tub, and the best by dates are stamp coded next to a label.

Items are refrigerated and have a shelf life of up to 90 days. The last date of distribution of recalled products is January 15, 2015.

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