Types of recalled fish tied to salmonella outbreak
- Atlantic Salmon
- Coho Salmon
- Lane snapper
- Ocean perch
- Pacific cod*
- Pacific sole
- Red rock cod
- Red snapper
- Salmon fillet (all natural)
- Striped bass (farm raised)
- Trout (bone-in)
*Pacific cod sold at Sprouts was not recalled.
— Source: FDA
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identified a multistate outbreak of salmonella linked to at least 16 types of fish that has infected 102 people, resulting in at least 19 hospitalizations. No deaths have been reported from the bacteria that is known to cause serious illness and sometimes-fatal infections in older adults.
The seafood was distributed by Northeast Seafood Products, a Denver company, to restaurants and supermarkets across Colorado, including Albertsons, Safeway and Sprouts. The majority of people with infections live in or traveled to Colorado during the week they got sick; two people, though, did not report being in the state before becoming ill. Thus, the outbreak may not be limited to the 14 states where infected people live, the CDC warns.
The states where infected people live include Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
People infected with this particular strain of salmonella range in age from 1 to 85, with illnesses starting between May 11 and Sept. 7. Among the 62 sick people interviewed, 82 percent reported eating raw or cooked seafood from restaurants or grocery stores.
The true number of infections is likely higher than the total reported because people are not regularly tested for salmonella and many who are infected recover without medical care. Plus, recent illnesses may not be included in the totals because it takes up to four weeks to determine if a sick person is part of an outbreak.
The affected products, which were voluntarily recalled by the distributor on Oct. 8, were sold fresh to restaurants and supermarkets but may have been frozen later by consumers and businesses.
Advice to consumers
- Do not eat or cook recalled fish. Instead throw the seafood away or return it to the place where you purchased it.
- Wash surfaces and containers that may have touched the recalled fish, using hot, soapy water or a dishwasher.
- If you can’t remember where you bought your seafood from, be cautious and discard it.
Symptoms of a salmonella infection
Adults 65 and older and those with weakened immune systems are at a higher risk of severe salmonella illness. Infections caused by the bacteria lead to about 26,500 hospitalizations and 420 deaths in the U.S. annually, the CDC states. Tainted food is the primary cause of these illnesses.
Call your physician immediately if you have any of these severe salmonella symptoms:
- Diarrhea and a fever of higher than 102 degrees
- Diarrhea for more than three days that is not improving
- Bloody diarrhea
- Vomiting to the degree that you cannot keep liquids down
- Signs of dehydration, such as not urinating much, feeling dizzy when standing up, or experiencing dry mouth and throat
Infections are diagnosed with a lab test. Although most people can recover without antibiotics, one is recommended for anyone with a severe illness. Antibiotics are also recommended for infected adults older than 65 (or over 50 if an underlying condition such as heart disease is present), infants and those with weakened immune systems.
Aaron Kassraie writes about issues important to military veterans and their families for AARP. He also serves as a general assignment reporter. Kassraie previously covered U.S. foreign policy as a correspondent for the Kuwait News Agency's Washington bureau and worked in news gathering for USA Today and Al Jazeera English.