1.2 million pounds of Daniele International salami, sausage, and other cured meat products have been yanked out of stores and recalled due to possible salmonella contamination. The meats are linked to 184 sick individuals in 38 states. At least 35 people have been hospitalized, but none have died.
What makes this recall interesting is not its scope, but the amount of detective work it took to track the source of infections down.
The recall comes after six months of painstaking work by health officials at both the federal and state levels who have been trying to track down the cause of a national outbreak of a relatively common form of the disease, called Salmonella Montevideo. It was first reported in July and has thus far sickened 184 people in 38 states, leading to at least 35 hospitalizations but no deaths, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“To my knowledge, this is the longest continuously active investigation of a commercial product that’s been done,” says William Keene, a senior epidemiologist with Oregon’s Dept. of Public Health.
Oddly, the company believes that the black pepper used in the products, many of which were coated with the spice, may be the source of the salmonella bacteria. As opposed to the actual meat.