Michigan health officials investigate at least 11 salmonella infections

LANSING, Mich. -- State health officials are investigating at least 11 salmonella infections among Michigan residents who drank unpasteurized orange juice recalled by a Florida company.

The cases were reported between early May and early June, Michigan Department of Community Health director Janet Olszewski said in a statement. Eight were reported in children and five required hospitalization. There have been no deaths.

"Salmonella is a bacteria that people should take very seriously," Olszewski said. "We urge Michigan consumers to use caution when purchasing unpasteurized products, and to avoid the recalled products all together for the time being."

Salmonella bacteria can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems, the MDCH said. Others may suffer from high fever, severe headache, vomiting, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea.

Several other cases in Michigan and elsewhere are under investigation, Olszewski said.

The infections appear to be linked to unpasteurized orange juice products recalled Friday by Orchid Island Juice Co. of Fort Pierce, Fla. The company said at the time it was recalling the products due to possible salmonella contamination.

The juice is packaged and distributed under a variety of brand names, including Nino Salvaggio's, Westborn Market and Natalie's Orchid Island Juice, among others.

The products do not bear a warning label that the juice is unpasteurized. While 98 percent of juice in the United States is pasteurized, the rest, mostly freshly squeezed juice, is not, the MDCH said.

Consumers who have purchased the recalled products may return them to the store where purchased for a full refund. Those seeking additional information can contact the company at (772) 465-1122.