Tuesday, February 2, 2016

One Case of Salmonella in Utah Linked to Nationwide Outbreak

(Salt Lake City) – Utah public health officials are investigating one case of Salmonella Virchow associated with “Garden of Life Organic Shake & Meal Replacement” powdered mixes. Several matching Salmonella Virchow cases in other states also reported eating this product, which is a powdered nutritional supplement and meal replacement. These states include Wisconsin, Tennessee, Oregon, New Jersey, New Mexico, and Minnesota.

A sample of the product tested by the Utah Department of Health was positive for Salmonella. In response to the outbreak, the company has voluntarily withdrawn a limited quantity of Raw Meal Organic Shake & Meal in the flavors chocolate, original, vanilla, and vanilla chai. The Utah Department of Agriculture and Food has attempted to contact all Utah stores where the product is known to be sold and requested they make sure it is no longer on the shelves. The product is also sold online. Because it has a long shelf-life, there is a possibility that consumers may still be using it. Consumers who purchased any of these products should discard any remaining product or return it to the store or company where it was purchased.

For more information on which products have been recalled in connection with this outbreak, visit http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm484027.htm. Since many cases of Salmonella infection (salmonellosis) do not seek health care and are never tested, the number of ill people who are part of this outbreak is likely to be larger than the identified cases. Consequently, health officials want to bring this outbreak to the attention of people who have been sick with symptoms of salmonellosis but who have not yet consulted a health care provider. People with symptoms consistent with salmonellosis and who have consumed any of these products should contact their health care provider and mention this outbreak.

Symptoms of salmonellosis include diarrhea, abdominal pain and fever. Symptoms usually begin within 12 to 72 hours after exposure, but they can begin up to a week after exposure. Salmonella infections usually resolve in 5 to 7 days, but approximately 22 percent of laboratory-confirmed cases require hospitalization. Invasive infections (for example, blood stream infections, meningitis) occasionally occur.

In rare cases, Salmonella infection can lead to death, particularly in the elderly or those with weakened immune systems. Many Salmonella infections in otherwise healthy people do not require medical treatment. For those who do seek health care, most do not need to be treated with antibiotics. However, antibiotic treatment for certain categories of people and for more severe infections is warranted.

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