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Del Monte Vegetable Tray Implicated in Salmonella Outbreak

MAY 23, 2019 | MICHAELA FLEMING
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced an outbreak investigation of Salmonella Infantis with a suspected link to Del Monte vegetable trays.

FDA officials are inspecting a processing facility in Kankakee, Illinois, that produced the particular vegetable tray after the Wisconsin Department of Health services linked several cases of Salmonella to the product.

On May 21, 2019, Wisconsin health officials released a foodborne illness advisory to alert consumers that all 4 individuals who have been sickened in this outbreak reported consuming a Del Monte vegetable tray prior to falling ill. Additionally, all of the individuals reported purchasing the products from Kwik Trip stores in Wisconsin or Minnesota.

The statement indicates that Kwik Trip, a chain of convenience stores located throughout Wisconsin and Minnesota, is where the outbreak is currently isolated.

The onset of illness for ill individuals ranges from April 13 through April 27, 2019. However, due to the delay from when a person falls ill to when the illness is reported to public health agencies, additional illnesses may not be reported yet.

According to Wisconsin authorities, Kwik Trip has voluntarily removed all Del Monte vegetable trays from its stores. Del Monte vegetable trays may have also been distributed to other retailers throughout the state, therefore a product distribution investigation is ongoing.

At this time consumers are advised to avoid consuming vegetable trays produced by Del Monte containing broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, and dill dip, in both 6- and 12-ounce packages.

This FDA reports that this outbreak is not related to the Cyclospora infections linked to Del Monte vegetable trays in 2018. In the 2018 outbreak, a total of 250 laboratory-confirmed cases of Cyclospora infections were documented in individuals who consumed Del Monte vegetable trays from Kwik Trip/Kwik Star locations across Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.

After a thorough investigation, the FDA was unable to identify a single point of contamination for any of the items that were included in the vegetable tray and the outbreak was declared over on September 6, 2018.

Consumption of food contaminated with Salmonella can cause symptoms that include diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever within 12 to 72 hours. The illness usually persists for 4 to 7 days and most individuals recover without treatment. Young children, older adults, and individuals with weakened immune systems are more vulnerable to complications, which can lead to hospitalization.

Health care providers who are living in areas affected by the outbreak should be cognizant of these symptoms and consider Salmonella as a potential diagnosis if a patient presents with them.

The FDA, along with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state authorities from Wisconsin and Minnesota, continue to investigate the cause and source of the outbreak, and updates will be provided as they become available.

For the most recent case counts and a list of affected states in the Salmonella Infantis outbreak linked to Del Monte vegetable trays, check out the Outbreak Monitor.
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