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Nationwide outbreak of multidrug-resistant Salmonella Heidelberg infections associated with ground turkey: United States, 2011

  • J. A. ROUTH (a1), J. PRINGLE (a1), M. MOHR (a2), S. BIDOL (a3), K. ARENDS (a3), M. ADAMS-CAMERON (a4), W. T. HANCOCK (a1), B. KISSLER (a5), R. RICKERT (a6), J. FOLSTER (a6), B. TOLAR (a7), S. BOSCH (a1), C. BARTON BEHRAVESH (a1), I. T. WILLIAMS (a1) and L. GIERALTOWSKI (a1)...

Summary

On 23 May 2011, CDC identified a multistate cluster of Salmonella Heidelberg infections and two multidrug-resistant (MDR) isolates from ground turkey retail samples with indistinguishable pulsed-field gel electrophoresis patterns. We defined cases as isolation of outbreak strains in persons with illness onset between 27 February 2011 and 10 November 2011. Investigators collected hypothesis-generating questionnaires and shopper-card information. Food samples from homes and retail outlets were collected and cultured. We identified 136 cases of S. Heidelberg infection in 34 states. Shopper-card information, leftover ground turkey from a patient's home containing the outbreak strain and identical antimicrobial resistance profiles of clinical and retail samples pointed to plant A as the source. On 3 August, plant A recalled 36 million pounds of ground turkey. This outbreak increased consumer interest in MDR Salmonella infections acquired through United States-produced poultry and played a vital role in strengthening food safety policies related to Salmonella and raw ground poultry.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

* Author for correspondence: J. A. Routh, MD, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Rd NE MS C-09, Atlanta, GA 30333, USA. (Email: iyp1@cdc.gov)

References

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