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This mysterious salmonella outbreak continues to spread, and the CDC is unsure why

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the salmonella strain might come from a takeout container

Salmonella and campylobacter are allowed in raw poultry sold in supermarkets
This 2004 electron microscope image made available by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows gram-negative campylobacter fetus bacteria.
Janice Haney Carr, CDC via Associated Press

An ongoing outbreak of salmonella has spread to 29 different states, and it’s coming from an unknown food source.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that at least 279 people have been sickened by a new salmonella strain, called oranienburg. In total, 26 of those people have been hospitalized with the outbreak. There have been no deaths, though.

  • The CDC said the number of sick people is likely higher since people don’t often report when they are infected with salmonella.
  • This is more than double the amount cases from the previous week, per USA Today.

In total, the outbreak has reached 29 states, including Arkansas, Connecticut, California, Florida, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, New Jersey, North Carlona, North Dakota, and Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin.

The CDC said it’s unsure what food item started the outbreak, too.

  • “A specific food item has not yet been identified as the source of this fast-growing outbreak,” the CDC said.

However, the CDC said the strain was found in a takeout condiment cup that contained cilantro and lime. The infected person said that the container had onions, too.

  • “Because multiple food items were present in the container and in the sample that was tested, it is not possible to know which food item was contaminated,” the CDC said.

According to Food Safety News, the investigation has been going on for more than one month. People who may have been made sick by the outbreak have been identified. The CDC will continue to investigate anyone who might have been made sick by the spread.