CDC: Florida one of states included in salmonella outbreak warning

Officials investigating takeout condiment cup from unidentified restaurant as source

Salmonella illustration from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (CDC, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

PEMBROKE PARK, Fla. – A nationwide oubtreak of salmonella is causing a wave of concern among health experts. The problem is that scientists have not been able to pinpoint the exact source.

Nearly 300 people across 30 states have become sick, including at least two in Florida. The outbreak has expanded and the number of people sickened has doubled since the outbreak was first reported last week.

State and local officials have collected food items from some of the restaurants where sick people ate, according to the Centers for Disease Control. The CDC did not identify the restaurants.

The outbreak strain was found in a sample taken from a takeout condiment cup containing cilantro and lime. The sick person reported that the condiment container also contained onions, but none were left in the cup when it was tested.

On Sept. 2, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control identified an outbreak of 20 Salmonella Oranienburg infections. Since then, according to the CDC the outbreak has grown rapidly.

As of Sept.15, 2021, 127 people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Oranienburg were reported from 25 states (see map). Illnesses started on dates ranging from Aug. 3, 2021 to Sept. 1, 2021 (see timeline), according to the CDC.

The CDC said the exact number of sick people in an outbreak is likely much higher than the number reported, and the outbreak may not be limited to the states with known illnesses. Their reason given was that many people recover without medical care and are not tested for salmonella. In addition, recent illnesses may not yet be reported as it usually can take 3 to 4 weeks to determine if a sick person is part of an outbreak.

FIND OUT MORE: What is salmonella and what are the symptoms?

About the Author:

Michelle F. Solomon is the podcast producer/reporter/host of Local 10's original, true-crime podcast The Florida Files and a digital journalist for Local