As the FDA investigates an outbreak of illnesses that may be related to Salmonella typhimurium bacteria in produce, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is reminding consumers of steps they can take to keep their food safe.
Salmonella can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Healthy persons often experience fever, diarrhea (which may be bloody), nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. In rare circumstances, infection can result in the organism getting into the bloodstream and producing more severe illnesses.
Based on information currently available from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the investigation shows a peak in cases of illness in September. This suggests that the outbreak is no longer ongoing. The agency believes that contaminated food products that caused the illnesses have at this point been consumed, destroyed or thrown out because they are perishable. Therefore, FDA does not believe a consumer warning about produce on store shelves is warranted at this time.
FDA is working closely with states and CDC to identify the most likely food item(s) that caused the current outbreak. If and when a food item is identified, FDA will investigate where the product came from and what may have gone wrong during its production, packing or distribution that could have led to contamination with Salmonella.