Sprouts from Caldwell Fresh Foods, of Maywood, California, have caused approximately 22 illnesses in multiple states, including 11 in its home state of California. The outbreak strain of Salmonella is Salmonella Newport, and the implicated sprouts, which were widely distributed to retailers nationally, have been recalled.
Since May 14, the Butte County Public Health Depeartment has confirmed seven cases of salmonella poisoning, all in Chico. Dr. Mark Lundberg, the county’s health officer, said three people have been hospitalized. He said public health staff is working to determining the source of the outbreak and stop its spread. Dr. Lundberg also said Butte County typically has 32 cases of salmonella poisoning in an entire year.
Is it the sprouts? Although California’s public health laboratory has been one casualty of the State’s budget woes, and is not operational on a daily basis (as i understand it), the health department should be able to eventually determine whether the DNA fingerprint associated with the Butte County outbreak matches the Caldwell sprout outbreak, which, again, has sickened 11 in California alone. Time will tell.