The CDC, alongside the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and local and state regulatory officials, has officially closed their investigation of the Seafood Salmonella Outbreak of October 2022. The investigation began on October 19, 2022, after 33 Salmonella Litchfield infections were reported in Arizona, California, and Illinois. Since then, officials have traced 39 Salmonella infections to the outbreak in 4 states: Arizona (13), California (24), Illinois (1), and Texas (1). The Salmonella Litchfield outbreak was traced to Mariscos Bahia, Inc., raw fish products, which were confirmed to have been distributed in Arizona and California, though the product may have been distributed in other states. A joint inspection of the Mariscos Bahia, Inc., plant in Pico Rivera, California, that was conducted by the FDA and California Department of Public Health found several strains of Salmonella present in the facility, including one sample that matched the genetic strain of the outbreak. Experts believe the fresh (not frozen) Mariscos Bahia, Inc., fish products were not sold directly to consumers in either grocery stores or markets, rather the fish was sold solely to restaurants in California and Arizona, as well as at Mariscos Bahia’s locations in Pico Rivera, California, and Phoenix, Arizona.
On October 20, 2022, Mariscos Bahia, Inc., issued a voluntary recall for the following products distributed between June 14, 2022, and October 17, 2022: Chilean Seabass (fillet and portions), Halibut (fillet and portions), Fresh Salmon (fillet and portions), Fresh Deep Skin Salmon Fillet, Swordfish (loin, fillet and wheel), and Tuna (fillet and loin). Although the Mariscos Bahia’s fish products were distributed fresh and not frozen, restaurants should check their freezers for any of the recalled products. Restaurants who have received the potentially contaminated Mariscos Bahia, Inc., fresh fish on or after June 14, 2022, are advised to not serve the product, rather dispose of it immediately. Items and surfaces that have come in contact with the potentially contaminated fish should be thoroughly washed and sanitized to avoid cross contamination.
Statistically, for every Salmonella infection reported, there are approximately 30 more cases of salmonellosis not reported. Salmonella Litchfield is a strain of Salmonella that causes gastroenteritis when ingested, most commonly consumed through contaminated food or water. According to the CDC, Salmonella symptoms typically present as diarrhea which can be bloody, fever, and stomach cramps, though some also experience nausea, headaches, and vomiting. After ingesting Salmonella bacteria, symptoms predominantly begin within 6 hours to 6 days and subside within 4 to 7 days. Salmonella infections customarily do not require treatment, though antibiotics can be given for severe cases. People with lowered immune systems, infants, and adults 65 and older should contact their healthcare provider if they believe they are suffering from a Salmonella infection to avoid further complications.