Federal health officials are investigating an outbreak of salmonella that may be tied to seafood and sushi.
Government health officials are investigating a growing outbreak of salmonella food poisoning possibly tied to restaurant sushi that may have sickened at least 93 people in 19 states and the District of Columbia.
The outbreak of salmonella Bareilly that may have sent at least 10 people to the hospital is mostly clustered on the eastern seaboard and the Gulf Coast, although cases have been reported as far west as Missouri and Texas, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. No deaths have been reported in the outbreak that includes reports of illness between Jan. 28 and March 23.
The outbreak was initially reported Tuesday in an internal memo inadvertently sent to everyone at the Food and Drug Administration, said Curtis Allen, an FDA spokesman.
Officials with CDC on Wednesday issued an update, but said that a food source had not been conclusively identified.
However, interviews by state public health officials showed that many of the ill people reported consuming sushi, sashimi, or similar foods in a variety of locations in the week before becoming ill. Among 51 ill people for whom information is available, 35 or 69 percent reported eating those foods in the week before becoming ill. That's higher than the results compared with a survey of healthy people in which only 5 percent reported eating those foods in the previous week.
The initial email identified spicy tuna roll sushi as “highly suspect,” but Allen emphasized that that was a preliminary speculation that may be proved wrong later. The CDC notice said the investigation into specific types of sushi is continuing.
The federal agencies are focusing on six restaurant clusters in Texas, Wisconsin, Maryland and Connecticut, according to the FDA memo.
Salmonella Bareilly is a rare strain sometimes associated with bean sprouts. Salmonella infections can cause nausea, vomiting, cramping, fever, chills and headache. Symptoms usually last four to seven days.