Breaking
February 26, 2024

Salmonella Outbreak Traced to Charcuterie Sold at Sam’s Club

AiBot
Written by AiBot

AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

Jan 6, 2024

A salmonella outbreak that has sickened at least 24 people across 14 states has been traced back to charcuterie meat samplers sold at Sam’s Club. The ready-to-eat charcuterie sampler trays contained salami, prosciutto, coppa, and soppressata and were shipped to Sam’s Club stores in several states.

Recall Issued for Over 11,000 Pounds of Charcuterie Products

On January 3rd, Busseto Foods Inc. issued a recall for around 11,034 pounds of charcuterie meat products sold at Sam’s Club between December 23rd and January 3rd.

The recalled items were shipped to Sam’s Club stores in these states:

State
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Florida
Georgia
Illinois
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
New Jersey
New York
Ohio
Pennsylvania
Virginia

The charcuterie was packaged in clear plastic containers with UPC code 033735934250 and “best by” dates from January 15, 2023 through April 10, 2023.

The recall was initiated after random sampling by the Georgia Department of Agriculture found salmonella in the product. Further investigation traced illnesses back to the charcuterie.

At Least 24 Sick Across 14 States

As of January 4th, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that 24 people have fallen ill across these 14 states after consuming the recalled charcuterie:

State Number of Cases
California 1
Colorado 1
Connecticut 1
Florida 1
Georgia 1
Illinois 4
Massachusetts 2
Michigan 1
Minnesota 1
New Jersey 1
New York 2
Ohio 4
Pennsylvania 2
Virginia 1

Illness onset dates range from December 18, 2023 to January 2, 2024. At least 5 people have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.

The outbreak is still under investigation and the number of sick is expected to grow as more cases are confirmed.

Salmonella Infection Can Cause Severe Illness

Salmonella is a bacteria that causes diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps. Symptoms usually start 6 hours to 6 days after eating contaminated food and last 4-7 days.

While most people recover without treatment, salmonella infection can cause severe illness and even death if the infection spreads from the intestines to other parts of the body. Those at highest risk include children, older adults, and those with compromised immune systems.

Manufacturer Expanding Recall, Cooperating with Investigation

In a statement, Busseto Foods said it has ceased distribution of the product and is working with health officials on the investigation. The company stated that no other Busseto Foods or Fratelli Beretta USA products are affected by the recall.

Busseto Foods is based in Paterson, New Jersey and distributes cured Italian meats under the Fratelli Beretta USA brand. The charcuterie meat samplers were produced at the company’s New Jersey facility.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service classified the recall as Class 1, meaning “a health hazard situation where there is a reasonable probability that the use of the product will cause serious, adverse health consequences or death.”

Officials Advise Consumers to Check Freezers

The CDC is advising consumers to check their homes for the recalled product and to throw it away or return it. The agency warns that eating food contaminated with salmonella can cause severe diarrheal illness.

Retail giant Sam’s Club has removed the product from store shelves and inventory. However, officials say consumers may still have the charcuterie meat samplers in their freezers.

Any consumers with questions regarding the recall can contact Busseto Foods at 973-513-0202.

Outbreak Highlights Risks of Some Ready-to-Eat Foods

While the current outbreak appears limited to the charcuterie samplers from Busseto Foods, officials note it highlights the potential risks of some ready-to-eat foods like meat and cheese.

If contaminated and not properly cooked, these foods can foster the growth of dangerous bacteria like salmonella. The elderly, young children, pregnant women and those with compromised immune systems are especially susceptible.

To prevent infection, health agencies advise following food safety guidelines for handling, cooking, and storing foods. Consumers should thoroughly cook meats to safe internal temperatures to kill potential pathogens. Officials also advise washing hands and surfaces often when working with animal products like meat, eggs, and dairy.

Proper refrigeration is also critical, as cold temperatures slow bacteria growth. Public health experts say consumers should pay close attention to storage guidelines on product labels.

Investigation into Source of Contamination Ongoing

While the recall has been issued, the investigation continues as officials try to pinpoint the origin of the salmonella contamination.

Tracing salmonella back to a source can be challenging, as the bacteria can come from various reservoirs. Common sources are the intestines or feces of domestic or wild animals. Salmonella is also commonly found in raw meat, poultry, eggs and dairy.

Officials will likely assess the New Jersey production facility and manufacturing process for clues. They will also genetically match the strain of bacteria from patient samples to isolates from the plant environment, product, or ingredients.

These efforts will provide vital information to help update production protocols and prevent future outbreaks.

Long-Term Impacts Remain Uncertain

The ultimate impacts of the outbreak and recall remain uncertain as the situation continues unfolding.

In the short-term, the salmonella infections may continue rising or taper off. Those recently exposed can still develop symptoms up to a week after consuming the tainted product.

For Busseto Foods and its parent company Fratelli Beretta USA, the repercussions could be significant. Though no lawsuits have yet been filed, legal action is probably forthcoming from those sickened.

The recall and plant closure are also costly, creating production delays and inventory issues. And while no deaths have occurred, fatalities could still be possible given the at-risk profile of some patients.

In the longer term, stricter oversight and requirements may be imposed on the facility and processes. And depending the final case count, the outbreak could rank among the largest linked to cured meats in recent history.

Above all, officials say the top priority remains identifying those affected and preventing additional illnesses. Protecting public health through swift, thorough investigations enables experts to control outbreaks and inform meaningful changes to policy and practice.

AiBot

AiBot

Author

AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

To err is human, but AI does it too. Whilst factual data is used in the production of these articles, the content is written entirely by AI. Double check any facts you intend to rely on with another source.

By AiBot

AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

Related Post