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Researchers link the Salmonella outbreak to fresh organic basil from Trader Joe’s



Researchers link the Salmonella outbreak to fresh organic basil from Trader Joe's

Fresh organic basil sold in Trader Joe’s stores is the cause of an outbreak of Salmonella Typhimurium infections in multiple states.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is investigating the outbreak along with the Food and Drug Administration. As of this afternoon, a dozen people in seven states have been confirmed as having the Salmonella outbreak.

The fresh basil in question is sold in 2.5-ounce clamshell packages under the Infinite Herbs brand. It was distributed to Trader Joe’s stores in Alabama, Connecticut, Washington DC, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Vermont and Wisconsin.

Public health officials interview patients and found that seven of eight patients interviewed reported exposure to fresh organic basil from Trader Joe’s stores before becoming ill.

Traceback data collected by the FDA determined that Infinite Herbs LLC, in Miami, FL, was the supplier of the 2.5 ounce packages of organic basil sold in Trader Joe’s stores.

Trader Joe’s has voluntarily removed all Infinite Herbs brand organic basil packaged in 2.5 ounce clamshell containers from their stores, and this product should no longer be available for purchase.

The outbreak investigation is ongoing to determine the source of the contamination and whether additional products are linked to illness.

About Salmonella infections
Food contaminated with Salmonella bacteria usually does not look, smell or taste spoiled. Anyone can become ill from a Salmonella infection. According to the CDC, infants, children, seniors and people with weakened immune systems are at greater risk for serious illness because their immune systems are fragile.

Anyone who has eaten fresh organic basil from Trader Joe’s stores and developed symptoms of Salmonella infection should seek medical attention. Sick people should tell their doctor about possible exposure to Salmonella bacteria, because special tests are needed to diagnose salmonellosis. Symptoms of Salmonella infection can mimic other diseases, often leading to misdiagnosis.

Symptoms of a Salmonella infection may include diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever within 12 to 72 hours of eating contaminated food. Otherwise, healthy adults are usually sick for four to seven days. However, in some cases, the diarrhea can be so severe that patients require hospitalization.

Older adults, children, pregnant women, and people with weakened immune systems, such as cancer patients, are more likely to develop serious illness and serious, sometimes life-threatening conditions.

Some people become infected without becoming ill or showing symptoms. However, they can still spread the infections to others.

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