USA – A 2022 Salmonella Outbreak that sickened 88, hospitalizing 32 in 11 states that went unannounced – Why?

Food Poison Journal

In August 2022, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and state partners conducted an outbreak investigation into a multistate outbreak of Salmonella Typhimurium linked to cantaloupe.

  • Total Illnesses: 88
  • Hospitalizations: 32
  • Deaths: 0
  • Last Illness Onset: September 11, 2022
  • States with Cases: GA (1), IL (5), IN (17), IA (39), KY (3), MI (3), MN (4), MO (2), OH (3), SC (1), WI (10)

The outbreak response investigation found:

  1. In August 2022, CDC notified FDA about a multistate cluster of Salmonella Typhimurium illnesses with a potential signal for melon exposures. The cases were geographically distributed in the U.S. upper Midwest.
  2. The isolates in this cluster of illnesses were within 7 alleles / 11 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of two FDA soil swab samples collected from a 2020 outbreak investigation in Indiana. As a part of the 2022 investigation, FDA and state partners collected multiple samples, but none of the resulting isolates were a definitive match to the 2022 outbreak strain.
  3. FDA’s 2022 traceback investigation identified 11 points of service, of which 8 traced back to a common packinghouse. Although a common packinghouse was identified, there was no convergence to a single shipment of products, and therefore three farms that supplied the common packing house were identified as potential sources of cantaloupe.

As a result of the traceback, FDA conducted investigations in Indiana at all three farms, their common packinghouse and nearby public lands. Salmonella positive environmental samples were found at each location, but none of the resulting Salmonella isolates conclusively matched the outbreak strain by whole genome sequencing (WGS). No cantaloupes were recalled and no public warning was issued due to the implicated products no longer being on the market.

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