Newest ABR Salmonella Outbreak Highlights Public Health Urgency

Statement of CSPI Food Safety Staff Attorney Sarah Klein

December 20, 2011

At least 14 consumers are sick—including 7 who have been hospitalized—from another outbreak of antibiotic-resistant Salmonella in ground beef.

The outbreak strain, Typhimurium, has shown resistance to multiple commonly prescribed antibiotics, making the illnesses harder to treat. Salmonella Typhimurium has previously been implicated in two meat-related outbreaks, and is one of four ABR Salmonella strains that CSPI urged USDA to declare as adulterants earlier this year. That declaration would trigger enhanced testing for these dangerous pathogens, and could minimize their entry into commerce.

FSIS says it is developing regulations to require better recordkeeping by retailers who grind beef—but that process can take years and consumers cannot afford to wait. Retailers must be responsible for keeping track of where beef is coming from so that they can assist FSIS and consumers with timely traceback during an outbreak investigation.

The retailer, Hannaford, has recalled all of its house-label ground beef with sell by dates prior to December 17. Consumers who believe they may have purchased this or any contaminated product should dispose of it or return it.


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