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CDC, public health and regulatory officials in several states, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA-FSIS)External are investigating a multistate outbreak of Salmonella Schwarzengrund infections.

Public health investigators are using the PulseNet system to identify illnesses that may be part of this outbreak. PulseNet is the national subtyping network of public health and food regulatory agency laboratories coordinated by CDC. DNA fingerprinting is performed on Salmonella bacteria isolated from ill people by using techniques called pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and whole genome sequencing (WGS). CDC PulseNet manages a national database of these DNA fingerprints to identify possible outbreaks. WGS gives a more detailed DNA fingerprint than PFGE. WGS performed on bacteria isolated from ill people showed that they were closely related genetically. This means that ill people in this outbreak are more likely to share a common source of infection.

As of March 14, 2019, 6 people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Schwarzengrund have been reported from 3 states. A list of the states and the number of cases in each can be found on the Map of Reported Cases page.

Illnesses started on dates ranging from December 19, 2018, to February 2, 2019. Ill people range in age from less than one year to 71, with a median age of 55. Eighty-three percent are female. One (17%) person has been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.

Illnesses might not yet be reported due to the time it takes between when a person becomes ill and when the illness is reported. This takes an average of 2 to 4 weeks. Please see the Timeline for Reporting Cases of Salmonella Infection for more details.

Whole genome sequencing (WGS) analysis of 5 clinical isolates predicted antibiotic resistance to streptomycin, sulfisoxazole, and tetracycline. Testing of outbreak isolates using standard antibiotic susceptibility testing by CDC’s National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS) laboratory is currently underway. This resistance likely will not affect the choice of antibiotic used to treat most people.

  • On March 13, 2019, Butterball, LLC in Mount Olive, North Carolina recalledExternalapproximately 78,164 pounds of raw ground turkey products because they may be contaminated with SalmonellaSchwarzengrund.
    • Recalled ground turkey products were produced on July 7, 2018 and were shipped to institutional and retail locations nationwide.
    • Products are labeled with the establishment number “EST. P-7345” inside the USDA mark of inspection.
    • Visit the USDA-FSIS website for a list of recalled productsExternal.
  • Institutions, restaurants, and retailers should not serve or sell recalled turkey products and should check food storage and freezers for them.
    • If possible, retailers who received recalled turkey products should contact their customers to alert them of the recall.
  • Consumers should check their homes for Butterball brand ground turkey labeled with the establishment number “EST. P-7345”. Do not eat recalled ground turkey. Return it to the store or throw it away.
  • Contact a healthcare provider if you think you got sick from eating recalled ground turkey.
  • In general, consumers and restaurants should always handle and cook ground turkey safely to avoid foodborne illness. It is important to handle and prepare all ground turkey products carefully.
Latest Outbreak Information
Illustration of a megaphone.
  • Six people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Schwarzengrund have been reported from 3 states.
    • Illnesses started on dates ranging from December 19, 2018 to February 2, 2019.
    • One person has been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.
  • Epidemiologic and laboratory evidence indicates that ground turkey produced by Butterball, LLC is a likely source of this outbreak.
  • On March 13, 2019, Butterball, LLC recalledExternal approximately 78,164 pounds of ground turkey products that may be contaminated with Salmonella Schwarzengrund.
  • This investigation is ongoing, and CDC will provide updates when more information is available.
Food Safety and Ground Turkey
Illustration of a fork and a knife.
  • Don’t eat raw or undercooked ground turkey.
  • Cook ground turkey hamburgers and mixtures such as casseroles to 165°F internal temperature. Use a food thermometerExternal to make sure the meat has reached a safe internal temperature. You can’t tell whether meat is safely cooked by looking at it.
    • For turkey burgers, insert thermometer through the side of the patty until it reaches the middle.
    • Place the thermometer in the thickest part of the meat for other items.
  • Ask that ground turkey -burgers and mixtures be cooked to 165°F internal temperature when ordering at a restaurant.
  •  Wash hands and items that came into contact with raw ground turkey—including countertops, utensils, dishes, and cutting boards—with soap and water.
Symptoms of Salmonella Infection
Illustration of a person with stomach pain.
  • Most people infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps 12 to 72 hours after being exposed to the bacteria.
  • The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days, and most people recover without treatment.
  • In some people, the diarrhea may be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized. Salmonella infection may spread from the intestines to the bloodstream and then to other places in the body.
  • Children younger than 5 years, adults older than 65 years, and people with weakened immune systems are more likely to have a severe illness.

This is a press release from the CDC.

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