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Elliot Olsen is a nationally prominent foodborne illness lawyer who has regained millions for his clients. If you or a family member were sickened in one of these 2018 Salmonella outbreaks, you might have cause to file a lawsuit. Please call (612) 337-6126 for a free consultation.

Last year proved to be another busy one for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in its battle with Salmonella. The organization investigated 15 Salmonella outbreaks in 2018, as many Salmonella outbreaks as it investigated during the previous three years combined.

The CDC reports that Salmonella bacteria cause an average of 1.2 million illnesses yearly. In addition, about 23,000 of those will require hospitalization, and 450 will end in death.

Most people infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps from 12 hours to as long as three days after infection. Salmonellosis, the illness caused by a Salmonella infection, can last up to a week, and most people recover without treatment. In some patients, however, diarrhea can become so severe that dehydration occurs, and they need to be hospitalized.

The CDC says that food is the source for about 1 million cases of salmonellosis yearly. Here is a look at last year’s five largest outbreaks caused by contaminated food:

2018 Salmonella outbreaks: another busy year2018 Salmonella outbreaks:
No. 5, Kellogg’s Honey Smacks

  • Case count: 135
  • States: 36
  • Deaths: 0
  • Hospitalizations: 34
  • Recall: yes

On June 14, the Kellogg Company recalled all Honey Smacks cereal still on the market within the cereal’s one-year shelf-life. The CDC concluded its investigation in September, issuing its final update on Sept. 26.

2018 Salmonella outbreaks:
No. 4, kratom

  • Case count: 199
  • States: 41
  • Deaths: 0
  • Hospitalizations: 50
  • Recall: yes

Although the CDC has issued its final update on this outbreak, it is also advising that consumers should be aware that the herbal supplement kratom could be contaminated with Salmonella and could make people sick. Contaminated products still could be available for purchase because the investigation was not able to identify a single, common source of contaminated kratom.

(Note: Advocates say kratom offers relief from pain, depression, and anxiety, and some scientists say it could hold the key to treating chronic pain. It might even be a tool to combat addiction to opioid medications, they say.)

2018 Salmonella outbreaks:
No. 3, raw turkey

  • Case count: 216
  • States: 38
  • Hospitalizations: 84
  • Deaths: 1
  • Recall: yes (links below)

This outbreak is still active, and so it could conceivably move up the list before the CDC investigation is officially closed.

The most concerning problem with this outbreak is that there is not a single, common supplier. In interviews, people who became ill reported eating different types and brands of turkey products purchased from many different locations. In addition, three people who became ill lived in households where raw turkey pet food was fed to their pets.

The outbreak strain has been identified in samples taken from raw turkey pet food, raw turkey products, and live turkeys.

There have been two recalls involving more than 250,000 pounds of raw ground turkey products:

  • On Nov. 15, Jennie-O Turkey Store Sales in Barron, Wisconsin, recalled approximately 91,388 pounds of raw ground turkey products.
  • On Dec. 21, Jennie-O Turkey Store Sales in Faribault, Minnesota, recalled approximately 164,210 pounds of raw ground turkey products.

2018 Salmonella outbreaks:
No. 2, Fareway chicken salad

  • Case count: 265
  • States: 8
  • Deaths: 1
  • Hospitalizations: 94
  • Recall: yes

On Feb. 21, Triple T Specialty Meats Inc. recalled all chicken salad produced from Jan. 2 to Feb. 7. The recalled chicken salad was sold in containers of various weights from the deli areas at Fareway grocery stores in Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, and South Dakota from Jan. 4 to Feb. 9.

The CDC posted its final update on the outbreak on April 6.

2018 Salmonella outbreaks:
No. 1, JBS Tolleson ground beef

  • Case count: 333
  • States: 28
  • Hospitalizations: 91
  • Deaths: 0
  • Recall: yes

The CDC has not posted its final update on this outbreak, fearing that consumers could still have contaminated ground beef in their freezers. Because of that, the organization is advising that consumers should check for beef recalled by JBS Tolleson Inc. of Tolleson, Arizona.

Recalled JBS Tolleson ground beef products were produced and packaged from July 26 to September 7 of last year, and they were shipped to retailers nationwide under many brand names.

JBS Tolleson initially recalled 6.9 million pounds of ground beef products on Oct. 4, and then recalled another 5.2 million pounds of beef products on Dec. 4.

When you check your freezer for recalled JBS Tolleson ground beef, you should look for a label with establishment number “EST. 267.” This is usually found inside the USDA mark of inspection, although it can be found elsewhere on the package.

More than 100 retailers – including chain retail locations and local stores – sold the recalled ground beef products. Visit the USDA-FSIS website for a list of stores and states where the recalled beef products were sold. (Stores are listed by state, in alphabetical order.)

Consumers with questions about the recalled ground beef products can call the JBS Tolleson consumer hotline at (800) 727-2333.

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Elliot Olsen has decades of experience representing people harmed by food poisoning. You can contact him for a free consultation by filling out the following form and submitting it: