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Epidemiol Infect. 2017 Jun;145(8):1535-1544. doi: 10.1017/S0950268817000504. Epub 2017 Mar 20.

International outbreak of multiple Salmonella serotype infections linked to sprouted chia seed powder - USA and Canada, 2013-2014.

Author information

1
Epidemic Intelligence Service,Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,Atlanta, Georgia,USA.
2
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,Atlanta, Georgia,USA.
3
Public Health Agency of Canada,Ottawa, Ontario,Canada.
4
US Food and Drug Administration, CollegePark, Maryland,USA.
5
Canadian Food Inspection Agency,Ottawa, Ontario,Canada.
6
Wisconsin Division of Public Health,Madison, Wisconsin,USA.
7
New York State Department of Health,Albany, New York,USA.
8
Massachusetts Department of Public Health,Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts,USA.
9
Connecticut Department of Public Health,Hartford, Connecticut,USA.
10
California Department of Public Health,Richmond, California,USA.
11
Alberta Health Services,Edmonton, Alberta,Canada.
12
British Columbia Centre for Disease Control,Vancouver, British Columbia,Canada.
13
Ministère de la Santé et des Services Sociaux,Québec, Québec,Canada.
14
Laboratoire de Santé Publique du Québec,Québec, Québec,Canada.
15
Public Health Ontario,Toronto, Ontario,Canada.
16
Public Health Agency of Canada,Winnipeg, Manitoba,Canada.

Abstract

Salmonella is a leading cause of bacterial foodborne illness. We report the collaborative investigative efforts of US and Canadian public health officials during the 2013-2014 international outbreak of multiple Salmonella serotype infections linked to sprouted chia seed powder. The investigation included open-ended interviews of ill persons, traceback, product testing, facility inspections, and trace forward. Ninety-four persons infected with outbreak strains from 16 states and four provinces were identified; 21% were hospitalized and none died. Fifty-four (96%) of 56 persons who consumed chia seed powder, reported 13 different brands that traced back to a single Canadian firm, distributed by four US and eight Canadian companies. Laboratory testing yielded outbreak strains from leftover and intact product. Contaminated product was recalled. Although chia seed powder is a novel outbreak vehicle, sprouted seeds are recognized as an important cause of foodborne illness; firms should follow available guidance to reduce the risk of bacterial contamination during sprouting.

KEYWORDS:

Salmonella enterica ; Disease outbreak; foodborne infections

PMID:
28318456
DOI:
10.1017/S0950268817000504
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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