Federal health officials warned consumers Saturday to avoid eating Citterio brand Premium Italian-Style Salame Sticks after the product was linked to a growing salmonella outbreak.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a food safety alert, advising consumers and businesses to not eat, sell or serve Citterio’s salami sticks.
The cured meat product is known to be sold at Trader Joe’s grocery stores, but the CDC says consumers should get rid of them no matter where they were bought.
“Trader Joe’s has voluntarily stopped selling this product in its stores nationwide until we learn more,” the CDC said in a news release.
It was unclear if Citterio had pulled the meat from the shelves, but officials said an investigation is underway to determine whether additional products may be contaminated.
At least 20 people, a majority of them children, in eight states have been infected as of Friday. Their illnesses reportedly began between Sept. 18 and Oct. 3. Three have been hospitalized and none have died.
Out of the nine sickened people health officials interviewed, eight reported eating or maybe eating the salami snack before getting sick.
States with reported cases are California, Illinois, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York and Virginia.
But the CDC said the number of sick people is likely higher because it usually takes 3-4 weeks “to determine if a sick person is part of an outbreak” and “many people recover without medical care and are not tested for salmonella.”
Symptoms of a salmonella infection usually start between six hours and six days after swallowing the bacteria, the CDC explains. Most people recover after 4 to 7 days without treatment, the agency said.
People are advised to call their doctors if they experience any of these salmonella symptoms:
- Diarrhea and a fever higher than 102°F
- Diarrhea for more than 3 days that is not improving
- Bloody diarrhea
- So much vomiting that you cannot keep liquids down
- Signs of dehydration, such as not peeing much, dry mouth and throat, or feeling dizzy when standing up