Salmonella Outbreak Blamed for 16 Illnesses in 5 States

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At least 16 people in five different states have fallen ill with salmonella. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told the Associated Press and other media outlets on Monday that the salmonella has been linked to ground beef sold by two different Michigan businesses.

The businesses in question, Gab Halal Foods and Jouni Meats, are both located in the Metro Detroit area. Both businesses issued recalls for a combined total of more than 1,000 pounds of ground beef late last week.

Here is some of the key information that has emerged about the salmonella outbreak as of Monday.

* Gab Halal Foods, which is located in Troy, Mich., issued a recall for "approximately 550 pounds" of ground beef that had been sold through its facility. The beef in question had been produced between Dec. 4 and Dec. 10 of last year.

* Jouni Meats, which is located in Sterling Heights, Mich., had actually issued its recall first, for 500 pounds of ground beef that had been produced at its facility between Dec. 4 and Dec. 9 of last year.

* The majority of salmonella cases have been reported in Michigan, with at least seven cases stemming from the exact same restaurant, where patrons had reportedly consumed raw kibbeh.

* According to reports by Reuters and other media outlets on Monday, nine of the 16 people that have fallen ill with salmonella are from Michigan, while an additional three cases have been identified in Wisconsin, two in Illinois, and one each in Arizona and Iowa.

* No deaths have been reported so far, but at least half of those that have fallen ill with the strain of salmonella linked to the two Michigan businesses have had to be hospitalized.

* Jouni Meats and Gab Halal Foods are individually owned by a pair of brothers. The owner of Jouni Meats, Khalil Jouni, told Reuters on Monday that he believed that the meat may have been tainted elsewhere, as his facility distributed beef to many other local businesses without any report of further illnesses.

* As the Detroit Free Press noted on Monday, salmonella can affect people of all ages. Those affected so far range in age from 2 to 87 years of age. Young children and seniors are likely to be hit harder by the disease than others.

* Various media outlets have noted that this particular strain of salmonella, known as salmonella Typhimurium, is fairly rare in and of itself. More specifically, according to a report by NBC News, the "genetic fingerprint" of this strain has been "rarely seen previously."

* A person who becomes ill with salmonella typically suffers from abdominal pain, diarrhea, and fever, all of which manifest themselves within 12-72 hours "after infection," as noted by the Detroit Free Press.

Vanessa Evans is a musician and freelance writer based in Michigan, with a lifelong interest in health and nutrition issues.

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