Food Safety Magazine

News | July 10, 2019

Researchers Dissect 17 Years of Salmonella Outbreaks

By Staff

Researchers Dissect 17 Years of Salmonella Outbreaks

The July 2019 edition of the Journal of Food Protection—published by the International Association for Food Protection—includes an in-depth look at Salmonella outbreaks in the U.S. over a 17-year span.

The research in the article—Salmonellosis Outbreaks by Food Vehicle, Serotype, Season, and Geographic Location, United States, 1998-2015—looks at data for salmonellosis outbreaks from 1998 to 2015 that were submitted by public health jurisdictions to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Foodborne Disease Outbreak Surveillance System.

How many outbreaks were analyzed?

  • ​2,447 outbreaks total; 49 percent had an identified food vehicle; 2.2 percent had fatalities; 87 individuals died
  • Yearly average: 136
  • Individual cases: 65,916
  • All of these outbreaks had either confirmed or suspected etiology of nontyphoidal Salmonella

What were the frequently implicated foods in these outbreaks?

  • Eggs - 12.5 percent
  • Chicken - 12.4 percent
  • Pork - 6.5 percent

What about the most commonly identified serotypes?

  • Enteritidis - 29.1 percent
  • Typhimurium - 12.6 percent
  • Newport - 7.6 percent

Which serotypes experienced a statistically significant increase over time?

  • Braenderup 
  • I 4,[5],12:i:−

What else?

  • 81 percent of egg-related outbreaks were associated with serotype Enteritidis
  • Nuts, seeds, sprouts, and fruits were most commonly associated with multistate outbreaks
  • In general, Salmonella outbreaks occurred most frequently in the summer months
  • States with the highest number of salmonellosis outbreaks per 100,000 population were Alaska and Minnesota. States with the lowest were Delaware and Wyoming.
  • The highest number of salmonellosis cases per 100,000 population were in Washington, DC and Arkansas. 

Researchers note that geographic variations in outbreaks may reflect differences in outbreak detection, investigation, reporting, or risk. 

The article is available online to IAFP members. Non-members can purchase and download the article.

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