Federal food-safety agencies have announced a handful of recalls because of dangerous bacterial contaminations this month.
Earlier in May, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that more than 60 people across 23 states were affected by the most recent outbreak of Salmonella. Testing traced the illnesses to individuals who had contact with chicks, ducklings and other baby poultry from Mt. Healthy Hatcheries in Ohio.
More than half of those 60 people had to be hospitalized.
The announcements break normal food recall trends, as most government-announced recalls are often for less severe hazards such as mislabeled packaging or undeclared allergens.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service – which is responsible for overseeing the quality of domestically produced meat, poultry and eggs – announced one recall because of Listeria Monocytogenes.
The Food and Drug Administration also announced one recall because of Listeria Monocytogenes, along with four other recalls because of Salmonella.
A Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting review of archived records from January through May shows that recalls because of Listeria Monocytogenes and Salmonella combine to make up less than 30 percent of all recalls.
About three out of every five recalls are typically for undeclared allergens or mislabeling.
A previous review in December also found that recalls for Salmonella and Listeria Monocytogenes combined to make up just 25 percent of all food recalls.
This month’s Salmonella recalls affected cheese, chili powder, spice and egg products, while the recalls for Listeria Monocytogenes affected chicken salad and mango products.
See the above photo gallery for more information on the individual recalls and to see which states were affected.
“Healthy persons infected with Salmonella often experience fever, diarrhea (which may be bloody), nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain,” stated an FDA news release. “In rare circumstances, infection with Salmonella can result in the organism getting into the bloodstream and producing more severe illnesses such as arterial infections, endocarditis and arthritis.”
In extreme cases, Salmonella can be deadly.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 400 people die each year because of acute salmonellosis.
In another recent outbreak, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that at least 480 people across 25 states became sick from consuming chicken contaminated with an antibiotic-resistant strain of Heidelberg Salmonella.
Investigators traced that outbreak to a California Foster Farms facility.
Nearly two out of every five people affected by the outbreak had to be hospitalized.
With symptoms similar to Salmonella, Listeria Monocytogenes is a bacterial contamination that causes listeriosis. The serious infection can lead to fever, muscle aches and stomach illness.
Listeria Monocytogenes can also be deadly.
One person died from listeriosis as part of an at least eight-person outbreak in California and Maryland in March. In all seven other cases, consumers had to be hospitalized. Five of the cases involved pregnant women or newborns.
“A collaborative investigation by local and state public health and regulatory agencies, CDC, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration indicated that cheese products made by Roos Foods were the likely source of this outbreak,” stated an April Centers for Disease Control and Prevention health update.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 200 people die each year because of Listeriosis.