Salmonella Outbreak: Sushi? Sashimi?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has confirmed an outbreak of an unusual strain of salmonella known as Salmonella Bareilly. It has now hit 19 states, infecting 90 people since late January.

Although the CDC said in a news release that it had not definitively identified the food that has sickened at least 100 people in 19 states, many of the patients had eaten sushi or sashimi at various locations. This has been ongoing since January 28 through April 2, 2012.

Salmonella infections often cause diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps, which last four to seven days. Most people recover without treatment, but elderly patients, young children, and those with compromised immune systems are more at risk.

According to the CDC, state public health officials are conducting interviews with those who were infected to find out exactly what they had eaten and been exposed to days prior to becoming ill. This is usually the way investigations regarding food borne illnesses are conducted.

According to the CDC, between January 28 and April 2 salmonella infections linked to the outbreak have been reported as follows:  Alabama (2 cases), Arkansas (1), Connecticut (5), District of Columbia (2), Georgia (4), Illinois (9), Louisiana (2), Maryland (10), Massachusetts (4), Mississippi (1), Missouri (1), New Jersey (7), New York (23), North Carolina (2), Pennsylvania (3), Rhode Island (4), South Carolina (3), Texas (3), Virginia (5), and Wisconsin (9).

The CDC says that to this date, 10 people have been hospitalized, but no deaths were reported.

Sushi is very popular and very delicious, however, only proper cooking will kill salmonella.  Since sushi and sashimi are uncooked fish, it is difficult to know if what you are eating is contaminated.

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