As of May 17, 2021, a total of 33 people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Hadar were reported from 14 states. Illnesses started on dates ranging from December 28, 2020, to April 22, 2021.
Sick people ranged in age from less than 1 to 92 years, with a median age of 49 years. Sixty-six percent of people were female. Of 22 people with information available, four were hospitalized. No deaths were reported.
Public health investigators used the PulseNet system to identify illnesses that were part of this outbreak. CDC PulseNet manages a national database of DNA fingerprints of bacteria that cause foodborne illnesses. DNA fingerprinting is performed on bacteria using a method called whole genome sequencing (WGS). WGS showed that bacteria from sick people’s samples were closely related genetically. This means that people in this outbreak likely got sick from the same food.
USDA-FSIS collected an unopened package of ground turkey from a sick person’s freezer for testing. Testing results showed that the ground turkey contained the outbreak strain of Salmonella. The traceback investigation found that the ground turkey purchased by the sick person was produced by Plainville Brands, LLC.
Not all illnesses were linked to ground turkey produced by Plainville Brands, LLC. Sick people reported buying many different brands of ground turkey from multiple stores, and USDA-FSIS’s traceback investigation identified several turkey processing facilities. The outbreak strain was also identified in routine turkey samples, from multiple companies, collected by USDA-FSIS and state officials from 13 establishments.
WGS predicted that Salmonella bacteria from 33 people’s samples and 19 turkey samples were resistant to one or both of the antibiotics streptomycin and tetracycline. Most people with Salmonella illness recover without antibiotics. However, if an antibiotic is needed for an infection related to this outbreak, this resistance likely will not affect the choice of antibiotic used to treat most people.
On April 10, USDA-FSIS issued a public health alert for approximately 211,406 pounds of raw ground turkey products produced by Plainville Brands, LLC. These products had the establishment number “P-244” inside the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) mark of inspection. They were made from December 18-29, 2020 and were sold nationwide. CDC and FSIS also shared information about this outbreak with members of the National Turkey Federation.
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