CDC, FDA Investigating Multistate Outbreak of Salmonella Linked to Salami

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is working with public health officials, the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) and the FDA to investigate a multistate outbreak of Salmonell linked to a sliced salami product recalled by Daniele International.

According to the CDC, as of 9pm EST on January 24, a total of 187 individuals across 39 states were infected with a matching strain of Salmonella serotype Montevideo bacterial infection since July 2009. The majority of those infected have been in California, with 30 confirmed cases, and New York, with 15 confirmed cases. No deaths have been reported.

Montevideo is a particular type of Salmonella strain that is biologically different that the Salmonella Typhimurium serotype that infected peanut butter products last year. Both are common food-borne illnesses that can cause symtoms such as diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps 12 to 72 hours after infection. The illness usually lasts from 4 to 7 days. Most people recover without treatment, however those with weakened immune systems, infants, and the elderly may have more severe illness.

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During the week of January 16, the CDC conducted an epidemiological study by comparing foods eaten by 39 infected persons and preliminary analysis suggested the source to be a sliced salami variety pack recently recalled by Daniele International of Rhode Island. On January 23, the FSIS received a notice that the company was recalling approximately 1,240,000 pounds off ready to eat varieties of italian sausage products because of possible Salmonella contamination.

Black pepper in the salami is believed to be the tainted source. Salmonella has been found in dry spices such as black pepper, white pepper, red pepper, and paprika, according to a review conducted by the FDA and the CDC in 2006. Black peppers are more likely to carry the bacteria because they are sundried in their outer skins, unlike white pepper that has the outer coating removed. Cooking would normally destroy the bacteria, but in the Daniele products, the ready-to-eat sausages were rolled in pepper just before packaging.

Some spice manufacturers, such as McCormick, irradiate their spices to neutralize any bacterial growth. Besides Salmonella, another common bacterial contamination of dried spices is Listeria.

The specific products recalled carry a USDA mark of inspection bearing the numbers EST.9992 or EST.54. The were sold by many retailers, including Costco, Wal-Mart, Sam’s Club, Kroger, and Amazon.com. Consumers are advised to return the product for a full refund or to dispose of it in a closed plastic bag and placed in a sealed trash can to prevent people or animals from consuming it. Those with questions can contact Daniele International at 888-345-4160 or the CDC at 1-800-CDC-INFO. Persons who believe that they have become ill from eating a recalled prdouct should consult their healthcare providers.

The recalled products with UPC codes are:
• Daniele All Natural Salame (Coated with Coarse Black Pepper) (10 oz) 736436003802
• Daniele Brand Gourmet Pack (Emballage Assorti Gourmet Italian) (500 g)736436707373
• Daniele Deli Selection (20 oz)736436531024 / 736436854350
• Daniele deli Selection (32 oz) 736436720037
• Daniele Gourmet Combo Pack (16 oz) 736436707380
• Daniele Gourmet Deli Selection (Assortment De Fines Charcuterie Italienne) (400 g) 736436530131
• Daniele Gourmet Italian Deli Selection (600 g) 736436720051
• Daniele Italian Brand Gourmet Pack (16 oz) 736436707335 / 736436857313
• Daniele Italian Brand Gourmet Pack (8 oz) 736436847291
• Daniele Natural Salame Coated with Coarse Black Pepper (catch weight)
• Daniele Pepper Salame (catch weight) and EW. 736436303308
• Daniele Salame Bites Pepper Salame (7 oz) 736436200393
• Daniele Surtido Fino Italiano (340 g) 736436857092
• Daniele Surtido Fino Italiano (454 g) 736436707335
• Dietz & Watson Artisan Collection Baby Genoa Pepper Salame (catch weight)
• Dietz & Watson Artisan Collection Party Platter Pack (8 oz) 031506847103
• Boar’s Head All Natural Salame (Coated with Coarse Black Pepper) (8 oz) 042421160758
• Black Bear Baby Genoa Pepper Salame (9 oz) 630003950226

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