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Food Poison Journal Food Poisoning Outbreaks and Litigation: Surveillance and Analysis

Tempeh Salmonella outbreak in Asheville, NC: 46 sick and 7 hospitalized

Tempeh salmonella.jpgToday health officials with the Buncombe County Department of Health in North Carolina held a news conference to announce that Salmonella-contaminated tempeh from Smiling Hara has been confirmed as the source of the Asheville-area outbreak.  The number of ill now stands at 46, with 7 hospitalized.

On May 1, 2012, Smiling Hara recalled its unpasteurized soybean tempeh.  Smiling Hara Tempeh, which makes black bean, black eyed pea, and soy versions of tempeh, pulled the its tempeh products from store shelves after tests came back positive for Salmonella Paratyphi contamination.  The company is warning customers not to eat tempeh with best by dates of July 11 through October 25, 2012.

The tempeh was widely distributed to more than 30 stores and restaurants in North Carolina, including Earth Fare supermarket and the Laughing Seed restaurant.

Salmonella serotype Paratyphi generally causes a bacteremic illness—Salmonella found in the blood—of long duration. This illness is called paratyphoid fever. Symptoms of Salmonella Paratyphi infection start gradually, and include fever, headache, malaise, lethargy, and abdominal pain. In children, it can present as a non-specific fever. The incubation period for Salmonella Paratyphi infections, or time between exposure to the bacterium and illness, is 1 to 10 days.