Another week, another explosion of Salmonella illnesses and recalls to report.  Jumping right in:

The detection of this outbreak began with the Wisconsin Department of Health and Family Services notifying FSIS of a patient diagnosed with salmonellosis caused by Salmonella serotype Hadar.  The investigation expanded to include 12 people in Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Washington, and Wisconsin who also have been diagnosed with Salmonella Hadar infection, with illnesses occurring between December 2010 and March 2011. Working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state public health partners, FSIS determined that three of the patients in Colorado, Ohio, and Wisconsin specifically reported eating Jennie-O Turkey prior to illness onset and hospitalization; the last of these illnesses was reported on March 14, 2011.

Jennie-O Turkey Store, a Willmar, Minn. establishment, is now recalling approximately 54,960 pounds of frozen, raw turkey burger products that may be contaminated with Salmonella, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today. As FSIS continues its investigation of illnesses related to this recall, additional raw turkey products may be recalled. As a result, FSIS is alerting consumers to take extra care when preparing all raw turkey products.

News from the outbreak of severely injured folks stemming from the DeFusco’s Bakery continued to get worse this week with news that nine new cases were have been detected, bringing the total to 56, including 1 death, with 26 of those requiring hospitalization.  The number of hospitalized victims in this outbreak is unusually high and likely due to the age of the majority of the victims.  The elderly are especially vulnerable to serious complications as a result of foodborne illnesses.  It was reported that as of yesterday 9 people still remained hospitalized.

Also, swabs taken from cardboard boxes where empty pastry shells were stored at DeFusco’s Bakery in Johnston, tested positive for Salmonella. The boxes previously held raw eggs. If any of those eggs were infected and had broken open, residue in the boxes could have led to the Salmonella outbreak that has sickened dozens of people, health officials say.

On Friday, Marler Clark filed the first lawsuit stemming from an outbreak of Salmonella-contaminated Del Monte cantaloupe that, according to the CDC, has led to 13 persons infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Panama in Oregon (5 cases), Washington (4 cases), California (2 cases), Colorado (1 case) and Maryland (1 case.  According tot he FDA, Del Monte Fresh Produce N.A., Inc. recalled 4,992 cartons of cantaloupes, because they have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella Panama. The cantaloupes were distributed through warehouse clubs in Alaska, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington.

Illnesses from Salmonella have been linked to consumption of sausage at a benefit pancake breakfast held in early March in Thurmont, according to the Frederick County Health Department.

The sausage for the Thurmont event was from a previous event, the Frederick County 4-H Camp Center Country Butchering, held Jan. 27 at the Mount Pleasant Ruritan Club in Mount Pleasant. Samples of sausage sold to consumers from the same butchering were tested at the state health department laboratory and found to contain Salmonella.

Louie Foods International said a random test conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture detected Salmonella in a package of Louie’s brand alfalfa-clover sprouts. As a precaution, the company said it is recalling all its sprouts produced during the same time — those with a “use by” date on or before April 14, 2011.

The company said it has temporarily ceased production and distribution of sprouts subject to the recall and is working with the California Department of Public Health, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to determine the source of the contamination.

No illnesses have been reported.

Thomas Produce of Boca Raton said it is recalling 320 boxes of jalapeno peppers because routine monitoring by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) revealed that one sample tested positive for Salmonella. The company has ceased production and distribution of this lot of peppers while FDA and the company investigate the source of the contamination.

To date no illnesses have been reported in connection with the problem.

The recalled jalapenos were sold to distributors in Florida, New York, North Carolina, New Jersey, Minnesota, and Pennsylvania from Feb. 15 to 18.