Health

The CDC Figured Out What’s Behind the Salmonella Outbreak Linked to Italian-Style Meats

Earlier this week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a warning about a salmonella outbreak that investigators had linked to Italian-style meats, like salami and prosciutto. Now, the CDC says it has found the likely source of the outbreak: prepackaged antipasto trays from Fratelli Beretta.

The outbreak, which so far has sickened 36 people in 17 states, is actually two outbreaks involving different types of salmonella bacteria. At first, the CDC could only say that the outbreaks were linked to these types of meats (including salami, prosciutto, coppa, and soppressata), but couldn’t identify a specific brand or product to warn consumers about. So the agency told all consumers to reheat any Italian-style meats before consuming them.

Now, the CDC investigators have identified the Fratelli Beretta uncured antipasto trays as the root of the issue. The affected products were sold nationwide in vacuum-sealed plastic packages. They also have best-by dates on or before February 11, 2021. Mercifully, the outbreak warning does not include sliced Italian-style meats from a deli, the CDC says.

Salmonella is a common cause of foodborne illness, which can cause symptoms such as diarrhea, stomach cramps, and fever. For most people, the symptoms start to appear between six hours and six days after eating contaminated food, and the illness will resolve on its own within a week, the CDC explains. But, in some cases, the infection can become more severe and require hospitalization. Young children, older adults, and people with weakened immune systems are more likely to develop severe symptoms.

If you have any of the Fratelli Beretta products that might be affected by this salmonella outbreak, don’t eat them, the CDC says. And if you have any prepackaged Italian-style meats but aren’t sure what brand they are, it’s best to err on the side of safety and not eat them. Finally, be sure to wipe down any surfaces that may have come into contact with the affected products, including countertops, containers, and serving platters. 

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