On March 15, 2007, FDA learned that certain pet foods were sickening and killing cats and dogs. FDA found contaminants in vegetable proteins imported into the United States from China and used as ingredients in pet food.
A portion of the tainted pet food was used to produce farm animal feed and fish feed. FDA and the U.S. Department of Agriculture discovered that some animals that ate the tainted feed had been processed into human food. Government scientists have determined that there is very low risk to human health from consuming food from animals that ate tainted feed. All tainted pet food, animal and fish feed, and vegetable proteins continue to be recalled and destroyed.
FDA and USDA continue their comprehensive investigation to protect the nation's food supply.
Sent: Wednesday, October 10, 2007 7:40 AM To: ALL Subject: Salmonella Outbreak a Public Health Alert today from the Marion County Public Health Department: Oregon consumers are being urged to not eat any Banquet brand pot pies following a large, multi-state outbreak of Salmonellosis, state public health officials announced today. Banquet brand pot pies are sold in the freezer section at grocery stores and other outlets throughout the nation. The pot pies have code numbers beginning with "5009" or would have"P9"code. Consumers are urged to discard the items. "If you have any of these products in your freezer, they recommend that you throw them out,"Dr. William E. Keene, a senior communicable disease epidemiologist at the Oregon Public Health Division. "Anyone who has eaten the product but did not become ill need not take any special action. However, those who currently have severe diarrhea or diarrhea with fever should tell their doctor if they have consumed pot pies within the week before they became sick." The manufacturer, ConAgra, has suspended production and is instituting a "market hold" on all pot pies produced at their Marshall, Missouri,plant. The "hold" also includes a number of "private label" store brands produced at the same location with the same "5009" code number. A market hold means that retailers are being asked to temporarily suspend all sales and hold product in distribution channels pending further investigation. Consumers and retailers are encouraged to contact ConAgra (1-866-484-8671) for more information about the market hold or go to www.conagrafoods.com.
To date, at least 135 lab-confirmed cases with indistinguishable DNA profiles have been identified from 30 states, including Oregon. At least 20 cases were hospitalized, but no deaths have been reported. The number of reported cases has been increasing in recent weeks. "In our state only two cases have been confirmed so far," Keene said "But we estimate that for every confirmed case, there are at least 25 or more other people who became ill."
The source of contamination at the ConAgra facility is currently unknown, but appears to have been ongoing for some months. USDA investigators are currently working at the plant with ConAgra staff.
Salmonella infections can cause diarrhea, fever, abdominal cramping, and sometimes vomiting. Symptoms typically last less than a week, but some individuals, particularly infants, the elderly, and those with immunodeficiencies are at increased risk for severe illness. Antibiotic therapy is of no value for most patients, and can lead to prolonged excretion of the organism, increasing the risk of person-to-person spread.
Salmonella bacteria are widely distributed among animals and in the environment. Poultry is very often contaminated, and other outbreaks have been traced to produce, meat, and unpasteurized milk and cheese. Salmonella in food can be killed by thorough cooking, but they can survive undercooking or uneven cooking, as may happen in some microwave ovens.