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Epidemiol Infect 2013 Jun;141(6):1244-52

Nationwide outbreak of Salmonella Montevideo infections associated with contaminated imported black and red pepper: warehouse membership cards provide critical clues to identify the source.

Gieraltowski L, Julian E, Pringle J, Macdonald K, Quilliam D, Marsden-Haug N, Saathoff-Huber L, Von Stein D, Kissler B, Parish M, Elder D, Howard-King V, Besser J, Sodha S, Loharikar A, Dalton S, Williams I, Barton Behravesh C


In November 2009, we initiated a multistate investigation of Salmonella Montevideo infections with pulsed-field gel electrophoresis pattern JIXX01.0011. We identified 272 cases in 44 states with illness onset dates ranging from 1 July 2009 to 14 April 2010. To help generate hypotheses, warehouse store membership card information was collected to identify products consumed by cases. These records identified 19 ill persons who purchased company A salami products before onset of illness. A case-control study was conducted. Ready-to-eat salami consumption was significantly associated with illness (matched odds ratio 8.5, 95% confidence interval 2.1-75.9). The outbreak strain was isolated from company A salami products from an environmental sample from one manufacturing plant, and sealed containers of black and red pepper at the facility. This outbreak illustrates the importance of using membership card information to assist in identifying suspect vehicles, the potential for spices to contaminate ready-to-eat products, and preventing raw ingredient contamination of these products.

Category: Journal Article
PubMed ID: #23200262 DOI: 10.1017/S0950268812001859
PubMed Central ID: #PMC3640547
Includes FDA Authors from Scientific Area(s): Food Regulatory Affairs
Entry Created: 2013-06-10