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Number of sick from Salmonella infected fresh cut fruit rises

At least 33 people at four health-care facilities in Southeastern Pennsylvania, and 26 in schools in Delaware were sickened by the Salmonella Javiana found in fresh cut fruit which was recalled on December 7th. This is an increase from when the outbreak was first reported on December 11th. State and federal officials reports that all of the sick were infected from eating pre-cut fruit recalled from a New Jersey distributor.

Tailor Cut Produce of North Brunswick recalled fresh-cut cantaloupe, honeydew melon, pineapple and grapes that were distributed between Nov. 15 and Dec. 1 and that fruit is “potentially linked” to the multistate illnesses, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The cut fruit was distributed to restaurants, banquet halls, hotels, schools, and other institutions in New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania.

As of Dec. 11, CDC said 11 people from Pennsylvania and Minnesota were infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Javiana. No deaths were involved.

States say they worked with distributors to make the recall effective   The shelf life of the potentially contaminated fruit products has expired and any products of concern are no longer in circulation. It is likely that anyone who would have become ill from consuming any of the contaminated products linked to this outbreak would by now be infected.

Delaware officials said there is currently no ongoing risk to the children in these school districts due to the recalled fruit, and no risk to the general public as the recalled items were not sold in grocery stores.

The state on December 20th identified 26 individuals infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Javiana in Delaware. The cases involve school-aged children between the ages of 4 to 17 years old. The children are students at schools served by Red Clay Consolidated School District, Colonial School District, and the Community Education Building in downtown Wilmington. Delaware was not able to confirm school information for seven of the individuals, except that they reside in New Castle County. Illnesses started on dates ranging from the third week of November to the first week of December.

The recalled fruit was not sold directly to consumers in grocery stores. These products were sold for use in institutional food service establishments such as hospitals, long-term care facilities, schools, and hotels. In Delaware,

The cases were linked to the multistate outbreak through a standardized laboratory and data analysis method called whole genome sequencing (WGS). Final results linking individual cases of salmonella to the outbreak take approximately two to four weeks to be reported to the states, so although the risk of illness from consuming potentially contaminated fruit has passed, additional Delaware cases could be linked to this outbreak through WGS.

The multi-state investigation is ongoing to determine the source of contamination and if other products are linked to illness.


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