Salmonella is one of the most common and widespread disease-causing bacteria, resulting globally each year in tens of millions cases of Salmonellosis. In the United States alone, an estimated 1.2 million cases occur every year due to non-typhoidal Salmonellosis, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Of these, there are 23,000 hospitalizations, and 450 deaths result from infections.
Based on the most recent data, the number of incidents have decreased in recent years, but remains a public health challenge as new strains of Salmonella bacteria have developed a resistance to commonly used antimicrobials. The secondary treatments now prescribed are often less effective, more toxic, and more expensive.
Recent studies from the National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS) indicates that up to 5 percent of Salmonella strains are resistant to five or more common antibiotics.
Many reported Salmonella infections are foodborne. The most common cause of illness is undercooked food of animal origin, most commonly beef, poultry, milk and egg products.
Any consumption of contaminated food can cause symptoms, though immunocompromised individuals are more susceptible to infection. Children under the age of 5 and adults over 65 years of age represent the most likely to contract a related illness.
Also, certain medications, such as drugs to reduce stomach acid, are known to increase the risk of Salmonella.
Illnesses related to Salmonella can range from mild discomfort to severe stomach pains. The onset of symptoms is typically anywhere from 6 to 72 hours. Symptoms present as acute gastroenteritis and include the following:
• Sudden onset of diarrhea
• Abdominal cramps
Symptoms can lastfor several days, and may cause serious dehydration. Infection can also lead to medium or even long-term bowel disruption. Even after symptoms improve, the bacteria can often be found in the stool for several weeks post-infection.
In the most severe cases, Salmonella infection can spread to the urine, blood, bones, joints, brain, the nervous system, and other internal organs. These invasive infections are quite dangerous and can be life-threatening.
People can contract Salmonella through several different sources, though the most common are passed via contaminated food and water. The food is most often of animal origin, though fruit and vegetables can also carry the bacteria and even processed food can be tainted. ConAgra Company paid over $11 million in fines after a 2007 incident that linked contaminated peanut butter to over 700 cases of Salmonella.
Several outbreaks and subsequent food recalls are reported each year. In 2012, 106 separate outbreaks of Salmonella in America resulted in 64 percent of all food-related hospitalizations.
In 2013-14, a single outbreak linked to Foster Farms Brand chicken reached 29 states and infected over 600 persons. The outbreak strains of Salmonella were resistant to several commonly used antibiotics.
Other recent outbreaks and recalls include the following:
• A multistate outbreak to Garden of Life RAW Meal Organic Shake and Meal products.
• Almost 900 people were infected in 39 states by cucumbers contaminated with Salmonella in 2015. Six deaths were reported. Andrew & Williamson Fresh Produce and Custom Produce Sales both recalled products.
• Chipotle Mexican Grill removed contaminated tomatoes from 22 store locations after more than 60 people reported serious infection. Chipotle has been investigated for several food-related outbreaks over the last year.
• Thirteen people in 10 states fell ill after consuming JEM Raw Brand sprouted nut butter spreads. The company recalled products on December 2, 2015.
• On August 27, 2015, Kapowsin Meats issued a recall of over half a million pounds of pork products after almost 200 people in 5 states were treated for multidrug resistant Salmonella.
A small number of Salmonella patients develop pain in their joints. This is called reactive arthritis. It can last for months or even years, and may lead to chronic arthritis.
If you or a loved one have had moderate to severe Salmonella or other food poisoning and have questions about the root cause and the legal remedies available to improve quality of life and medical care, contact The Lyon Firm (800) 513-2403. You will speak directly with Mr. Lyon, and he will help you answer these critical questions