FOOD SAFETY NEWS SCAN: Turtle-related salmonellosis update, dairy cow Salmonella

Aug 8, 2012

Turtle-linked Salmonella outbreaks grow, affect Hispanic populations
The total number of patients sickened in several Salmonella outbreaks linked to small pet turtles has grown to 168 patients in 30 states, according to an update today from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The increase reflects 19 new cases and two more affected states—Louisiana and Mississippi. The two patients from Louisiana and Mississippi involved a strain of Salmonella Poona, which had also sickened patients in other states. The number of involved strains (Salmonella Sandiego, Pomona, and Poona) stands at three, and the number of outbreaks is still six. So far 34 people sickened in the outbreaks have been hospitalized. Almost two thirds of the sick patients (64%) have been children age 10 and younger, and 27% are age 1 or younger. Just over half (56%) of the patients are Hispanic, the CDC said, adding that information on the link between reptiles and Salmonella is now available in Spanish. In one of the outbreaks involving a Salmonella Sandiego strain, several of the patients were exposed to turtles bought from a street vendor. The most recent illness onset reported from the outbreaks, which were first announced in March, was Jul 16. Health officials have repeatedly warned about the risk of Salmonella infection from handling small turtles, but illnesses continue to occur despite a 30-year ban on their sale.
Aug 8 CDC outbreak update

Certain practices may raise prevalence of Salmonella in dairy herds
A US study of dairy cattle found that the use of sprinklers or misters for cooling and the feeding of anionic salts or ionophores to cows were associated with increased levels of Salmonella, and that spreading manure as a solid fertilizer lowered the odds. The study, published in Foodborne Pathogens and Disease yesterday, also found that herds with at least one resistant Salmonella isolate were more likely to have had composted or dried manure for bedding. Michigan and Colorado scientists analyzed cow fecal or composite fecal samples from 265 dairy herds in 17 states. Of the herds, 124 (47%) tested positive for Salmonella and 25 (9%) for drug-resistant Salmonella strains. Farm-management variables significantly associated with Salmonella-positive herds were using sprinklers or misters for cooling (odds ratio [OR], 2.8; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.6-4.9), feeding anionic salts to cows (OR, 1.9; 95% CI, 1.1-3.5), and feeding ionophores to cows (OR, 2.1; 95% CI, 1.2-3.7). The odds were lowered on farms using  a broadcast/solid rather than a liquid slurry manure fertilizer system (OR, 0.26; 95% CI, 0.11-0.63). Herds with at least one resistant isolate were more likely to have had composted or dried manure for bedding (OR, 3.6; 95% CI, 1.2-11.0).
Aug 7 Foodborne Pathog Dis abstract

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