Daniele, Inc. announced it is initiating a voluntary recall of its Pepper-Coated Salame products because of possible concerns about salmonella. Preliminary results indicate that eleven ill individuals had consumed salame products from "Daniele Italian Brand Gourmet Pack." State and federal health officials have been unable to confirm a direct link between the illnesses and any Daniele product.

However, the CDC announced that is collaborating with public health officials in many states, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to investigate a multistate outbreak of Salmonella serotype Montevideo infections. Investigators are using DNA analysis of Salmonella bacteria obtained through diagnostic testing to identify cases of illness that may be part of this outbreak.

As of January 22, 2010, a total of 184 individuals infected with a matching strain of Salmonella Montevideo have been reported from 38 states since July 1, 2009. The number of ill persons identified in each state with this strain is as follows: AL (2), AZ (5), CA (30), CO (2), CT (4), DE (2), FL (2), GA (3), IA (1), IL (11), IN (3), KS (3), LA (1), MA (12), MD (1), ME (1), MI (1), MN (4), NC (9), ND (1), NE (1), NH (1), NJ (7), NY (15), OH (9), OK (1), OR (8), PA (3), RI (2), SC (1), SD (3), TN (3), TX (7), UT (7), VA (1), WA (14), WV (1), and WY (2). Because this is a commonly occurring strain, public health investigators may determine that some of the illnesses are not part of this outbreak.

Among the persons with reported dates available, illnesses began between July 2, 2009 and January 1, 2010. Infected individuals range in age from <1 year old to 88 years old and the median age is 37 years. Fifty-two percent of patients are male. Among the 125 patients with available information, 35 (28%) were hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.

The term Salmonella refers to a group or family of bacteria that has been known to cause illness in humans for over 100 years. Salmonella bacteria are usually transmitted to humans by eating foods contaminated with animal feces or foods that have been handled by infected food workers.

Thoroughly cooking contaminated foods kills Salmonella. People infected with Salmonella have diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps occurring 12-72 hours after exposure. Illness usually lasts 4-7 days. Most people recover without treatment but serious illness can occur requiring hospitalization and even resulting in death.

The family of Salmonella bacteria is distinguishable by antigenic response. Scientists have identified more than 2500 serotypes of Salmonella. Salmonella serotype typhimurium is the most common serotype in the United States. Salmonella serotype Montevideo is one of the ten most common serotypes, with 19,928 case patients reported to the CDC in the thirty-year period, 1968 to 1998. Outbreaks of Salmonella Montevideo are not uncommon. Outbreaks have occurred in food served by an unlicensed caterer in Virginia (2009), pistachio nuts (2009), barbequed pork (2007 and in fast food roast beef sandwiches (2006).