In August 2021, CDC, public health and regulatory officials in several states and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA-FSIS) investigated a multistate outbreak of Salmonella Infantis and Salmonella Typhimurium infections.
Epidemiologic data showed that Fratelli Beretta brand prepackaged Uncured Antipasto trays made people sick.
As of October 26, 2021, this outbreak is over.
A total of 40 people infected with the outbreak strains of Salmonella Infantis (14) or Salmonella Typhimurium (26) were reported from 17 states (see map). The true number of sick people in the outbreak was likely much higher than the number reported, and the outbreak may not be limited to the states with known illnesses. This is because many infected people recover without medical care and are not tested for Salmonella.
Illnesses started on dates ranging from May 9, 2021, to August 16, 2021 (see timeline). Sick people ranged in age from 1 to 91 years, with a median age of 41, and 51% were male. Of 35 people with information available, 12 were hospitalized. No deaths were reported.
State and local public health officials interviewed people about the foods they ate in the week before they got sick. Of the 28 people interviewed, 26 (93%) reported eating a variety of Italian-style meats. Among 15 people who remembered the specific product or had shopper card records showing a purchase, 14 had Fratelli Beretta brand prepackaged Uncured Antipasto trays.
Public health investigators used the PulseNet system to identify illnesses that were part of this outbreak. CDC PulseNet manages a national database of DNA fingerprints of bacteria that cause foodborne illnesses. DNA fingerprinting is performed on bacteria using a method called whole genome sequencing (WGS).
For each outbreak strain, WGS showed that bacteria from sick people’s samples are closely related genetically. This suggests that people in each outbreak got sick from eating the same food.
Outbreak of Salmonella Typhimurium infections
WGS of bacteria from 26 sick people’s samples predicted resistance to ampicillin for 25 (96%) samples and to chloramphenicol, streptomycin, sulfamethoxazole, and tetracycline for all samples. Testing of three clinical isolates using standard antibiotic susceptibility testing methods by CDC’s National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS) laboratory confirmed these results (streptomycin was not tested by this method). Most people with Salmonella illness recover without antibiotics. However, if antibiotics are needed, illnesses in this outbreak may be difficult to treat with ampicillin and may require a different antibiotic choice.
Outbreak of Salmonella Infantis infections
WGS of bacteria from 12 people’s samples did not predict any antibiotic resistance. Testing of two clinical isolates using standard antibiotic susceptibility testing methods by CDC’s National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS) laboratory also found no resistance.
Public Health Actions
On August 27, 2021, USDA-FSIS announcedexternal icon that Fratelli Beretta was recalling one of their Uncured Antipasto products. The trays have the establishment number “EST. 7543B” inside the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s mark of inspection.