Salmonella illness traced to snack food

For Immediate Release: June 29, 2007
Media Contact: Communication Office
802-863-7281

BURLINGTON - The Vermont Department of Health is warning consumers today not to eat Veggie Booty snack food. An ongoing investigation has identified Veggie Booty as the source of a multi-state outbreak of salmonellosis, including three cases in Vermont.

Vermont is one of 17 states to have received reports of Salmonella cases linked to the outbreak. At least 51 cases have been identified nationally and almost all are toddlers or infants. The outbreak, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is likely to be ongoing.

“This strain of Salmonella that has been identified in these cases is very rare, and it is unusual for there to be an outbreak of salmonellosis among this age range,” said Health Commissioner Sharon Moffatt, RN, MSN.

Salmonella is a bacterium that can cause a gastrointestinal infection known as salmonellosis. Most people infected with salmonella are ill for four to seven days, and may be ill enough to require hospitalization. Serious complications and death are rare, but are more likely in the very young, the very old, and people who have other health problems.

Symptoms of salmonella usually start from 12 to 72 hours after eating a contaminated food item. Symptoms may include abdominal cramps, fever, and diarrhea. Nausea and vomiting may also occur.

Many of the people affected nationwide by the current outbreak reported bloody diarrhea. Five people were hospitalized, but all have been released.

The makers of Veggie Booty, Robert’s American Gourmet, announced an immediate recall of all Veggie Booty products yesterday. Veggie Booty is a snack food made from organic rice and corn with a blend of spinach, kale, and other vegetables.

Anyone with bloody diarrhea, or diarrhea and a fever, should contact their healthcare provider. If Veggie Booty was eaten in the two weeks before the onset of illness, save the package and put it aside for possible collection by the Vermont Department of Health.

Illness should be reported to the Health Department at 802-863-7240 or 1-800-640-4374. Vermonters who have Veggie Booty and are not ill should destroy the product.

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