Think you can only get salmonella from chicken? Think again. – Chicago Tribune

A multistate salmonella outbreak tied to Maradol papayas from Mexico is just the latest example of fresh produce – and not the usual suspects, eggs and poultry – contaminated with a potentially lethal strain of the bacteria.

According to a review of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention‘s list of selected salmonella-outbreak investigations, the majority of cases since 2006 have been tied to produce or products made from raw produce. During that period, investigators have looked into approximately 30 cases of salmonella outbreaks traced to fruits, vegetables, nuts and the like. Over the same time, there have been approximately 20 cases linked to meats, poultry, eggs and similar products.

What’s more, according to a Food and Drug Administration review of CDC data from 1996 to 2010, “approximately 131 produce-related reported outbreaks occurred, resulting in 14,350 outbreak-related illnesses, 1,382 hospitalizations and 34 deaths. These outbreaks were associated with approximately 20 different fresh-produce commodities.”

Some of these outbreaks have had lethal results, including a 2015 outbreak linked to Mexican cucumbers that killed six people. An outbreak traced to peanut butter in 2008 and 2009 led to the deaths of nine people. It also led to a 28-year sentence for the owner of the Georgia peanut plant.

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