Outbreak of Salmonella Enteritidis Infections Linked to Peaches

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October 16, 2020

CDC, public health and regulatory officials in several states, FDA, and the Public Health Agency of Canada investigated a multistate outbreak of Salmonella Enteritidis infections.

Public health investigators used the PulseNet system to identify illnesses that were part of this outbreak. PulseNet is the national subtyping network of public health and food regulatory agency laboratories coordinated by CDC. DNA fingerprinting is performed on Salmonella bacteria isolated from ill people by using a standardized laboratory and data analysis method called whole genome sequencing (WGS). CDC PulseNet manages a national database of these sequences that are used to identify possible outbreaks. WGS gives investigators detailed information about the bacteria causing illness. In this investigation, WGS showed that bacteria isolated from ill people were closely related genetically. This means that people in this outbreak were likely to share a common source of infection.

A total of 101 people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Enteritidis were reported from 17 states. A list of the states and the number of cases in each can be found on the Map of Reported Cases page.

Illnesses started on dates ranging from June 29, 2020, to August 27, 2020. Ill people ranged in age from 1 to 92 years, with a median age of 43. Sixty-four percent of ill people were female. Of 90 ill people with available information, 28 hospitalizations were reported. No deaths were reported.

Whole genome sequencing analysis of 83 bacterial isolates from ill people did not predict any antibiotic resistance. Standard antibiotic susceptibility testing by CDC’s National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS) laboratory is underway.

Whole genome sequencing analysis showed that an outbreak of Salmonella Enteritidis infections in Canada was related genetically to this outbreak in the United States. This means that people in both outbreaks were likely to share a common source of infection.

Investigation of the Outbreak

Epidemiologic and traceback evidence indicated that peaches packed or supplied by Prima Wawona or Wawona Packing Company were the likely source of this outbreak.

In interviews, ill people answered questions about the foods they ate and other exposures in the week before they became ill. Of 62 people with information, 50 (81%) reported eating fresh peaches in the week before their illness started. This percentage was significantly higher than results from a survey pdf icon of healthy people in which 20% reported eating peaches in the week before they were interviewed. Of the 40 people who reported information on how the peaches were packaged, 25 (63%) reported buying loose peaches and the remaining 15 reported buying pre-bagged peaches.

The FDA and regulatory officials in several states collected records from grocery stores where ill people reported buying peaches. These records showed that loose and bagged peaches distributed by Wawona Packing Company, LLC, were sold at multiple grocery stores where ill people bought peaches.

On August 22, 2020, Prima Wawona recalledexternal icon bagged and bulk, or loose, peaches that they supplied to retailers nationwide. See FDA’s noticeexternal icon for a list of recalled products. Recalled products are past their shelf life and should no longer be available in stores.

As of October 16, 2020, this outbreak appears to be over.

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