37 Salmonella Cases In 18 States Are From An Unexpected Source

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on May 23, 2014 in Rat Answers | Subscribe

By Laurel Maloy, contributing author, Food Online

PetSmart Salmonella Outbreak

PetSmart has been the unwitting catalyst in a widespread Salmonella Typhimurium outbreak

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported a total of 37 persons infected with Salmonella Typhimurium since Jan 11, 2014. On May 20, the FDA issued a warning to pet owners regarding the CDC’s findings as the result of patient interviews and a coordinated FDA investigation:

  • 21 people reported contact with several types of reptiles, including snakes and lizards
  • 17 of the 21 were able to provide information about feeding the reptiles
  • 15 of those 17 reported exposure to frozen feeder rodents
  • The Oregon State Public Health Laboratory isolated the outbreak strain in a sample of unopened, frozen mice packaged by Reptile Industries and taken from an ill person’s home
  • The presence of the outbreak strain was detected during testing of two frozen feeder rodent samples collected from Reptile Industries during the FDA’s investigation

Naples, FL-based Reptile Industries supplies Arctic Mice branded products, frozen mice, rats, or other feeder rodents of various sizes and ages, to PetSmart stores nationwide. From Jan 11 to May 13, 2014, the following states have reported this (number) of ill persons: AL (1), AZ (2), CA (7), IL (1), KY (1), MD (1), MI (2), MN (1), MO (2),  MT (3), NJ (3), NM (1), NC (1), OH (4), OR (2), PA (3), SD (1), and TX (1).

Cases of persons experiencing symptoms after Apr 13, 2014 may have not yet been reported. There is a two to four week time frame between when a person becomes ill and the time the illness is reported. The median age of the infected is 29, though the age range of ill persons is from 1 to 69 years of age. Additionally, five people were hospitalized and no deaths have been reported.

The FDA reports that Reptile Industries has declined to recall any of the potentially infected products at this writing. Consumers who have purchased these or other feeder rodents, live or frozen, are cautioned to:

  • Thoroughly wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds immediately after handling feeder rodents or anything associated with storage, thawing, preparation, or feeding
  • Thoroughly disinfect all surfaces that come in contact with feeder rodents
  • Keep feeder rodents separate from areas where food and drinks are prepared, stored, served, or eaten by people
  • Do not thaw frozen feeder rodents in a microwave utilized to prepare food for human consumption
  • Isolate and disinfect utensils used for feeder rodents from those utilized for human food prep
  • Do NOT allow children, especially under the age of five, the elderly, or those with weakened immune systems to handle feeder rodents

The FDA is also advising consumers in possession of Arctic Mice products purchased from PetSmart since Jan 11, 2014, to dispose of the product by placing it in a sealed container in the garbage.

Article source: http://www.foodonline.com/doc/salmonella-cases-in-states-are-from-an-unexpected-source-0001?atc~c=771+s=773+r=001+l=a

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