Multistate Salmonella Outbreak Linked to Antipasto Meats
On August 24, 2021, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that two ongoing and allegedly separate Salmonella outbreak strains—Salmonella Infantis and Salmonella Typhimurium—will be combined into one investigation, as further information revealed a probable common source of contamination: Fratelli Beretta brand prepackaged Uncured Antipasto meats.
Antipasto, which literally means “anti” meaning “before” and “pastus” meaning “meal”, is the first course of a formal Italian meal which typically includes meats such as salami and prosciutto, as well as a variety of cheeses and vegetables.
As reported on August 25, 2021, 36 people have reported illness and tested positively for Salmonella Infantis (13) or Salmonella Typhimurium (23) strain infections in 17 different states. The timeline of reported and confirmed illnesses range from May 9, 2021, to July 27, 2021. Of the 36 sick people, there have been 12 hospitalizations, but no reported deaths attributed to the outbreak. Of the 36 reported cases, 25 people provided information regarding what they ate and drank the week prior to becoming ill. 22 of the 25 (88%) reported having eaten a variety of Italian-Style meats before experiencing symptoms of food poisoning. A significant portion of them (14) presented records or remembered specifically eating Fratelli Beretta brand prepackaged Uncured Antipasto trays.
As usual, it is likely that the number of people affected by the Salmonella outbreak is much larger than presently reported, as it takes at least 3-4 weeks to determine whether or not someone is part of the particular outbreak. In addition, many people will simply get sick and recover without ever seeking medical attention.
Ron Simon, a leading Food Poisoning Lawyer, points out that while meats of this type are oftentimes adulterated with listeria, they are also susceptible to other germs, such as Salmonella and E. coli. Furthermore, these types of meats pose a particular threat of food poisoning as they are generally consumed without being cooked.
While there is not yet a formal recall, as further investigation of other products is needed, the CDC strongly recommends that people do not purchase or consume Fratelli Beretta brand prepackaged Uncured Antipasto trays with “best by” dates of or prior to February 11, 2022.