Colorado Salmonella Outbreak linked to Seafood
As of December 6, 2021, a total of 115 people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Thompson have been reported from 15 states linked to the consumption of seafood both raw, such as sushi, and cooked. The majority of sick people were either Colorado residents (93 individuals) or reported traveling to Colorado in the week before they got sick (14 individuals). Illnesses started on dates ranging from May 11, 2021, to October 16, 2021.
Sick people range in age from less than 1 to 85 years, with a median age of 39, and 53% are female. Of 111 people with information available, 20 have been hospitalized, and no deaths were reported.
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). For this outbreak, WGS showed that bacteria from sick people’s samples are closely related genetically. This suggests that people in this outbreak got sick from eating the same food.
Colorado state health officials and FDA traced the source of seafood served at restaurants and sold at grocery stores in Colorado where sick people ate or shopped. FDA determined that Northeast Seafood Products of Denver, Colorado, was the supplier of seafood to most of these locations.
During an FDA inspection of the Northeast Seafood Products facility, FDA collected environmental samples and identified the outbreak strain of Salmonella Thompson in the facility.
Testing of three sick people’s samples using standard antibiotic susceptibility testing methods by CDC’s National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS) laboratory showed no resistance. WGS analysis of bacteria from 92 sick people’s samples did not predict resistance to any antibiotics. One person’s sample was predicted to be resistant to tetracycline. Most people with Salmonella illness recover without antibiotics. However, if antibiotics are needed, this resistance is unlikely to affect the choice of antibiotic used to treat most people.
On October 8, 2021, Northeast Seafood Products of Denver, Colorado, recalled certain types of seafood processed at their facility since October 7, 2021, including Haddock, Monkfish, Bone-in Trout, Grouper, Red Snapper, Red Rock Cod, Ocean Perch, Pacific Cod, Halibut, Coho Salmon, Atlantic Salmon Portions, Lane Snapper, Tilapia, All Natural Salmon Fillet, Pacific Sole, and Farm Raised Striped Bass.
As of December 6, 2021, this outbreak is over.
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