Foodborne Illness Outbreak Database

This database provides summaries of significant food and water related outbreaks occurring since 1984 caused by E. coli, Salmonella, Hepatitis A, Campylobacter and other pathogens. Read more »

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2008 Outbreak of Salmonella Typhimurium Linked to Exposure to Mice Fed to Snakes, United Kingdom

Frozen mice and chicks were recalled by MiceDirect after an outbreak of Salmonella, serotype I 4,[5],12:i:- was detected in the United States. Cases were identified in 17 states; the first U.S. case illness onset was December, 2009. Prior to the U.S. outbreak, United Kingdom (U.K.) public health personnel investigated at least 400 cases of Typhimurium DT 191A related to MiceDirect rodents and chicks going back to July, 2008. Although referred to differently in the U.S. and the U.K., the strain in the U.S. outbreak was indistinguishable from the strain that caused the outbreak in the U.K. U.K. investigators found that many of the outbreak victims came from families where snakes were kept as pets. Approximately half of the outbreak victims were children less than 12 years old. No reported cases of Salmonella Typhimurium DT 191A were known in the U.K. prior to this outbreak. Mice and chicks fed to the snakes in the U.K. were finally tested; these tests showed the presence of the outbreak strain. In May, 2009, the Centers for Disease Control(CDC) was notified about the outbreak in the U.K.; in turn the CDC notified the Food and Drug Administration(FDA). No FDA inspection of the MiceDirect plant occurred until July, 2010. MiceDirect prepared and shipped frozen mice and chicks for reptile feed. Customers had been instructed to warm the frozen mice and chicks to room temperature, without cooking, for feeding.

  • Outbreak began:
  • July 2008
  • Affected Country:
  • International
  • Affected States/Territories:
  • Arizona, New York, Virginia, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina
  • Organism(s):
  • Salmonella
  • Vehicle(s):
  • Animal Contact, Mice, Baby Chickens, Chicks, Rodents
  • Molecular Results Available:
  • Yes
  • Test Results:
  • Unknown
  • Location(s):
  • Homes
  • Brand Name(s):
  • MiceDirect
  • Total ill:
  • 434
  • Number ill by Case Definition Known:
  • Unknown
  • Number Laboratory Confirmed Cases:
  • N/A
  • Number Probable Cases:
  • N/A
  • Number Possible Cases:
  • N/A
  • Anyone Hospitalized:
  • Yes
  • Number Hospitalized:
  • 1
  • Any Deaths:
  • No
  • Number Dead:
  • 0
  • Any References:
  • Yes

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