Sushi Salmonella Poisons 31 in Southern California


Thirty-one Californians have been struck with Salmonella, making it 53 total infections over nine states, most likely stemming from sushi consumption.

“The California cluster is part of a multi-state Salmonella Paratyphi B outbreak most likely linked to consumption of raw tuna commonly used in sushi,” reports the California Department of Public Health (CDPH).

Most of those sickened recall consuming raw tuna states the CDPH.

A joint effort to determine the source of the outbreak is being conducted. CDPH state that it is working with state and local health departments, “including the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)” in this investigation.

The CDPH further stated, “CDPH’s Division of Communicable Disease Control will continue to monitor for additional cases with a matching strain, coordinate follow-up of possible cases and review epidemiological data to further evaluate the source of the outbreak. CDPH’s Food and Drug Branch, in coordination with FDA and food safety partners in other state and local health departments are continuing efforts to trace food distributors and sources from sushi restaurants named by case patients.”

California residents affected range widely in age from less than one to 83 years. All cases have occurred within less than two weeks, May 5-13 based on CDPH records collected thus far.

Southern California county cases are as follows: Los Angeles (9), Orange (6), Riverside (4), San Diego (7), Santa Barbara (1), Ventura (4). Ten of these individuals have been hospitalized.

The Orange County Register reported, “Tuna does not carry Salmonella bacteria naturally but can become tainted if exposed to foods that do, including eggs, meat and poultry. Salmonella symptoms include diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps 12 to 72 hours after infection.”

“As the investigation continues, this is a good reminder to Californians that there are sometimes risks when eating raw or undercooked meats, fish or poultry,” said Dr. Smith said in the CDPH release. “This is particularly true for young children, the elderly, or people with compromised immune systems who may be at an increased risk of severe illness.”

The CDPH states, “Salmonella symptoms include diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps 12 to 72 hours after infection.”

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