47 Ill, One Dead from Salmonella Outbreak Spread by Papayas

A recent salmonella outbreak linked to the consumption of Maradol papayas left 47 victims sick and one dead. These victims hailed from 12 states:

  • New Jersey;
  • Iowa;
  • Maryland;
  • Kentucky;
  • Louisiana;
  • Massachusetts;
  • Minnesota;
  • New York;
  • Pennsylvania;
  • Texas;
  • Utah; and
  • Virginia.

Often, food poisoning outbreaks have “illness clusters” in one specific location, and this outbreak is no different. Although only five of the victims were from Maryland, an illness cluster was identified there. Illness clusters are defined as two or more people from different households reporting that they engaged in the same behavior, such as dining at a specific restaurant or attending the same event, within the same week of falling ill. Illness clusters help investigators identify the foods that could have caused their illnesses and track them down to specific retailers.

Tracing the Source of a Food Poisoning Outbreak

Although the investigation is still being conducted, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have identified a strong probable link between yellow Maradol papayas and the Salmonella outbreak through epidemiologic and laboratory evidence. Techniques for obtaining and analyzing this evidence include:

  • Determining a common contamination point in the production and supply chain;
  • Symptoms and exposures shared by the victims stricken by the illness;
  • Identifying environmental food safety risks in the production chain, such as the farm, the distributor, the handlers, and the eventual food vendor;
  • Patterns to the victims’ illnesses, such as length of time between consumption of potentially contaminated foods and their symptoms’ onset and past outbreaks involving the same organism; and
  • DNA fingerprints linking the germs found in the food in question and the food poisoning victims.

Recognizing Salmonella Symptoms and Seeking Treatment

Salmonellosis symptoms include:

  • Fever;
  • Diarrhea;
  • Chills;
  • Headache; and
  • Abdominal pain.

Typically, these symptoms subside within a week or so of their onset. Patients are advised to rest and stay hydrated to promote their own recovery. If symptoms do not subside within a week or if they become worse, a patient should seek medical attention. Elderly individuals, pregnant women, and young children should also receive medical care for their symptoms because these populations have weaker immune systems than others and can potentially suffer severely from Salmonellosis and other types of food poisoning. When medical intervention is required, the patient may receive antibiotics or IV fluid administration.

Work with an Experienced Itasca Food Poisoning Lawyer

If you or your child have become ill with Salmonellosis or another type of food poisoning and you suffered financial damages as a result, you could be entitled to recover monetary compensation for those damages through a personal injury claim. To learn more, contact our team of experienced food poisoning lawyers at Newland & Newland, LLP today to set up your initial consultation in our office. We serve clients in the Arlington Heights, Palatine, Rolling Meadows, Libertyville, Mundelein, Buffalo Grove, Schaumburg, Elk Grove, and Itasca areas.

  • Newland & Newland LLP, Attorneys, Arlington Heights, IL
  • Lawyer.com