Another hatchery has been linked to Salmonella outbreaks caused by live chickens. Yesterday, we wrote that an eight-year Salmonella Montevideo outbreak and related investigation was finally linked to one unnamed West Coast U.S. hatchery. Two other hatcheries were implicated in other long-term Salmonella outbreaks.
Now, a mail-order hatchery in Ohio has been blamed for a Salmonella outbreak that spans 23 states and sickened at least 93 people—from under one year of age to 100 years of age, said MSNBC. One death has been potentially associated with the Mount Healthy Hatchery. One state is investigating the possible death; however, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) did not say which state was involved. The new outbreak involves infections reported between March 1 and May 19.
This is, said MSNBC, the second time Mount Healthy Hatchery has been connected to outbreaks involving multiple strains of the dangerous pathogen in one year. The latest outbreak has led to 18 hospitalizations, said the CDC and more than one-third of those sickened have been young children, under the age of 10, noted MSNBC. Children, the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems are the most susceptible to contracting Salmonella infections, which can be dangerous and deadly.
The current Mount Healthy Hatchery outbreak involves Salmonella Infantis, Salmonella Newport, and Salmonella Lille. Mount Healthy Hatchery was also implicated in last year’s outbreak of Salmonella Altona and Salmonella Johannesburg infections, said MSNBC. Also last year, state agriculture officials inspected the hatchery, making improvement recommendations.
According to Casey Barton Behravesh, CDC veterinarian and researcher, since 1990, three dozen Salmonella outbreaks have been linked to mail-order poultry, said MSNBC.
As we’ve explained, raising backyard chickens, typically for their eggs, is a growing movement among people hoping to be in closer contact with their food. Of concern, said CDC physicians previously, people may be unaware of the prevalence of Salmonella in poultry, which can appear healthy, but can still carry and transmit food borne pathogenic diseases, such as Salmonella.
While generally associated with human and pet food poisoning, a growing percentage of Salmonella-related poisonings initiate with live animals, such as pet chicks and ducklings and pet reptiles. Animals can carry a variety of Salmonella strains without exhibiting symptoms, typically releasing the germ in their feces.
MSNBC previously explained that young poultry can become infected by contact with birds from a number of sources, with infected hens, or through contaminated feed. Mail-order birds might become stressed during shipping, which causes them to shed the pathogen, transferring the bacteria and making eradication difficult
Meanwhile, the eight-year Salmonella Montevideo outbreak sickened 316 people in 43 states between 2004 and 2011. The CDC believes another 5,000 cases have gone unreported. So-called “Hatchery C” has remained unnamed because of its cooperation with the CDC and because the threat of infection appears to have passed; only one case of the outbreak strain has been reported in 2012, MSNBC recently explained.