As of September 1, 2017, the deadly Salmonella outbreak currently sweeping our nation has impacted more than 200 victims in 23 states. 65 people have been hospitalized due to illness related to the outbreak and one victim from New York City has died.
This food poisoning outbreak involved four strains of Salmonella: Salmonella Thompson, Salmonella Kiambu, Salmonella Agona, and Salmonella Gaminara. Salmonella Thompson is by far the most prevalent of the strains; it was cited in 131 of the reported cases. Although Salmonella poisoning symptoms generally resolve themselves within a few days, they can require medical care in certain cases. When a victim does not receive the medical care he or she needs, he or she can die.
What Caused the Salmonella Outbreak?
This current outbreak has been linked to Maradol papayas from Carica de Campeche farm in Mexico. It is not the only papaya-related Salmonella outbreak currently infecting the United States – two other outbreaks, one linked to Caraveo Produce and the other to El Zapotanito, have been identified. These other outbreaks are completely independent of the outbreak caused by papayas from Carica de Campeche farm. Because these three cases are otherwise similar, involving papayas imported from farms in Mexico during similar timeframes, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is currently advising consumers to avoid purchasing and eating papayas from all three of these farms. It also urges restaurants and food vendors not to serve the papayas that can potentially be contaminated, even if they came from farms that were not linked to the outbreak because they, too, could be contaminated.
Avoiding Cross-Contamination After an Outbreak
Consumers and restaurants are urged to take steps to reduce their chances of consuming or serving contaminated papayas. The CDC advises consumers to take the following actions:
- Ask restaurants and retailers where their papayas were grown and if their distributors handle fruits from the farms in question;
- Wash their hands thoroughly with warm water and soap after handling food; and
- Wash the insides of their refrigerators, their refrigerator shelves, and all cutting boards and other surfaces that food touches with a solution of one tablespoon of chlorine bleach to one gallon of hot water to ensure they are completely sterilized.
Restaurants are urged to take similar actions and to take special care to avoid cross-contamination between produce shipments and food preparation areas.
Work with an Experienced Libertyville Food Poisoning Attorney
Salmonella and many other types of food poisoning illness can be serious, even deadly in extreme cases. If you have suffered from food poisoning because of another party’s negligence, you could be entitled to collect monetary compensation for your damages through a personal injury claim. To learn more about pursuing a food poisoning claim, schedule your initial consultation with our team of food poisoning attorneys at Newland & Newland, LLP today. We serve clients in the Arlington Heights, Palatine, Rolling Meadows, Libertyville, Mundelein, Buffalo Grove, Schaumburg, Elk Grove, and Itasca areas.
(image courtesy of Alex Jones)