Salmonella Outbreak Linked to Avanti Frozen Shrimp, Nine Victims


Total Illnesses: 9
Hospitalizations: 3

Deaths: 0

Last Illness Onset: 7/20/2021

States with Cases: AZ (2), MI (2), NV (4), RI (1)

Product Distribution: Nationwide

The FDA, along with CDC and state and local partners, investigated a multistate outbreak of Salmonella Weltevreden infections linked to the consumption of frozen cooked shrimp manufactured by Avanti Frozen Foods of India. On 7/21/2021, the CDC announced that this outbreak was over.

Since July 21, 2021, additional cases have been identified in this outbreak. At least one ill person consumed shrimp that are not a part of the current recall. Due to this new information, on August 10, 2021 the FDA asked the firm to expand their current recall to prevent additional illnesses. As of August 11, 2021, the firm has not initiated an expanded recall. FDA is continuing discussions with the firm and will provide more updates when available.

Previously recalled shrimp should no longer be available for sale; however, these products have a long shelf life, and consumers, restaurants, and retailers should check their freezers and should throw away any recalledshrimp. Anyone who received recalled shrimp should use extra vigilance in cleaning and sanitizing any surfaces that may have come in contact with the recalled product, to reduce the risk of cross contamination.

The current recall includes the following brands: CENSEA, CHICKEN OF THE SEA, HONEST CATCH, CWNO, HANNAFORD, WATERFRONT BISTRO, OPEN ACRES, 265, and MEIJER. Please check the recall announcement for full product descriptions.

FDA will share additional product information as soon as it becomes available, including if there are additional products and production dates to avoid.

As of June 25, 2021, the CDC and FDA reported six cases of individuals sickened by the outbreak strain of Salmonella Weltevreden. The victims of this outbreak live in Arizona and Nevada. Illnesses started on dates ranging from February 26, 2021, to April 25, 2021.

Of those ill, ages range from 30 to 80 years, with a median age of 56 years. Females represent 66% of those sickened. Two individuals have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported at this time.

The outbreak may be much more widespread than the initial cases reflect because the shrimp product is sold nationwide. In addition, the true number of those sickened is likely higher than this initial information shows as many victims may not have reported their illnesses. Many people recover from Salmonella without medical care and therefore are never tested for the pathogen. Additionally, many more may not have reported illnesses because it usually takes 3-4 weeks to determine if a sick person is linked to an outbreak

What is Salmonella?


How is Salmonella Diagnosed?

Salmonella bacteria can be detected by a stool culture. In cases of bacteremia or invasive illness, the bacteria can also be cultured from blood, urine, or, on rare occasions, from other body tissues. A fecal, blood, or other sample is placed in nutrient broth or on agar and incubated for up to 2-3 days. After that time, a trained microbiologist can identify the bacteria, if present, and confirm its identity by looking at biochemical reactions. Typically, this test is conducted at a hospital or clinical laboratory. Isolates obtained from culture are forwarded from clinical laboratories to public health laboratories. For more information on accurate diagnosis see about-salmonella.com.

How is Laboratory and Traceback Data used to identify the illnesses?

Public health investigators are using the PulseNet system to identify illnesses that may be part of this outbreak. CDC PulseNet manages a national database of DNA fingerprints of bacteria that cause foodborne illnesses. DNA fingerprinting is performed on bacteria using a method called whole genome sequencing (WGS).

This outbreak was first detected by FDA when a sample of Avanti Frozen Foods shrimp collected for testing at import was found to be contaminated with Salmonella Weltevreden. Using the PulseNet system, investigators identified several people that are part of this outbreak by WGS. WGS showed that the Salmonella from the shrimp are closely related to bacteria from sick people.

FDA conducted a traceback investigation using purchase records from locations where four sick people bought shrimp. Based on their purchase locations and dates, FDA identified a common shipment of frozen cooked shrimp; a supplier of this shipment was Avanti Frozen Foods.

What has the CDC done to investigate and protect consumers?

In March 2021, the shipment of Avanti Frozen Foods shrimp that was found to be contaminated with Salmonella at import was destroyed. Avanti Frozen Foods was added to the Import Alert, which allows FDA to detain products at import without physical examination due to the presence of Salmonella.

On June 25, 2021, Avanti Frozen Foods recalled additional lots of frozen cooked shrimp as they may be contaminated with Salmonella.

CDC is advising people not to eat, sell, or serve recalled frozen cooked shrimp supplied by Avanti Frozen Foods.

Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of Salmonella outbreaks. The Salmonella lawyers of Marler Clark have represented thousands of victims of Salmonella and other foodborne illness outbreaks and have recovered over $700 million for clients. Marler Clark is the only law firm in the nation with a practice focused exclusively on foodborne illness litigation. Our Salmonella lawyers have litigated Salmonella cases stemming from outbreaks traced to a variety of foods, such as cantaloupe, tomatoes, ground turkey, salami, sprouts, cereal, peanut butter, and food served in restaurants. The law firm has brought Salmonella lawsuits against such companies as Cargill, ConAgra, Peanut Corporation of America, Sheetz, Taco Bell, Subway and Wal-Mart.

Marler Clark has represented countless Salmonella victims and is the only firm in the nation with a practice focused exclusively on plaintiff foodborne illness litigation.

If you or a family member became ill with a Salmonella infection, including Reactive Arthritis or Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), after consuming food and you’re interested in pursuing a legal claim, contact the Marler Clark Salmonella attorneys for a free case evaluation. You can fill out the contact form or call toll-free at 800-884-9840.

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