Something’s fishy about a new Salmonella outbreak that has already left at least 102 people ill and 19 hospitalized. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) can already see the culprit. It’s seafood and not just any seafood. It’s specifically seafood that’s been distributed by Northeast Seafood Products, headquartered of Denver, Colorado, through October 7, 2021.
Although Salmonella Thompson cases do span 14 different states, the bulk of the cases have been in Colorado so far. The contaminated Northeast Seafood Products have gone largely to restaurants and grocery stores such as Albertsons, Safeway, and Sprouts in Colorado. There isn’t just one type of fish at fault. In other words, it’s not all about the Bass. Instead, in addition to Farm Raised Striped Bass, Haddock, Monkfish, Bone-in Trout, Grouper, Red Snapper, Red Rock Cod, Ocean Perch, Pacific Cod, Halibut, Coho Salmon, Atlantic Salmon Portions, Lane Snapper, Tilapia, All Natural Salmon Fillet, and Pacific Sole may be contaminated. Some of those who have gotten sick have eaten the seafood raw. Others have eaten it cooked.
Note that this new outbreak, announced yesterday by the CDC, is a different separate from the outbreak I covered for Forbes on September 26. That already reported Salmonella Oranienburg outbreak has now affected at least 419 people, leaving 66 hospitalized across 35 states. That outbreak continues to grow with the source still unknown. In fact, the CDC still lists it as a “Salmonella Outbreak with Unknown Food Source.” That uncertainty can seem a bit disconcerting because you still don’t quite know what to avoid. Obviously, “avoid all food” would not be an option unless you are a ficus plant that can photosynthesize. Don’t fret, though. Fretting is for guitars. Instead, just keep practicing good food safety precautions that you should always be maintaining.
Right now, there are more targeted actions that you can do about the Salmonella Thompson outbreak. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Northeast Seafood Products has issued a voluntary recall of all its potentially affected products. This includes the aforementioned types of fish that were distributed from May 2021 to October 7, 2021. The FDA advises that “consumers, restaurants, and retailers should not eat, sell, or serve any recalled seafood.” This is good advice in general. When you are at a restaurant and deciding what to order, don’t say, “I’m really interested in having some recalled seafood. Could your bring it out with some ketchup please?” Instead, avoid such recalled products and return them to where you purchased them for a full refund.
Wash or discard anything that may have touched the recalled products. Of course, what you should do will depend on what may have been contaminated. If it’s the counter top, you can disinfect the surface. Throwing away your kitchen counter would be too drastic a measure. The same applies to your significant other. Just tell he or she to wash with warm soap and water whatever body part may have touched the suspicious product. If it’s food, then just throw it away.
As I have covered before for Forbes, don’t play diarrhea roulette with any thing that may contaminated with Salmonella. It can leave you with four to seven days of bloody diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps. If you have a weaker immune system, which happens when you get older, you can have much more serious and potentially life-threatening complications. It’s one thing to eat some good fresh salmon. It’s totally different to eat Salmonella.