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Salmonella Outbreak Linked to Missouri Hatchery

August 1, 2012 — According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), a recent outbreak of Salmonella poisoning has been traced to a mail-order chick, duckling, and poultry hatchery located in southern Missouri. The same strain of salmonella has been found in samples collected from 76 people in 22 states. All of the people reported handling baby poultry purchased from Estes Hatchery in Springfield, Missouri. Many of the people who got sick were children, and 17 people required hospitalization after becoming ill.


The CDC recommends that children under five years old should not handle live poultry. Children tend to touch their faces after handling the birds, which is how salmonella is often ingested. It may also be difficult for parents to ensure the child washes their hands thoroughly. Although healthy adults usually recover from salmonella poisoning, children must often be hospitalized, and the illness can be deadly. The CDC recommends that adults thoroughly wash their hands after handling baby birds or touching anything in the area where the birds are kept.

The CDC is also asking businesses to inform their customers about the risk of salmonella poisoning when they purchase the baby birds.

There have been several major salmonella outbreaks tied to poultry hatcheries this year. In May, an outbreak of Salmonella montevideo sickened at least 316 people in 43 states. Although the hatchery has attempted to eradicate the bacteria, it continues to infect people on a yearly basis. Another outbreak was linked to an Ohio hatchery, and 93 people were sickened in 23 states.

It can be very difficult or impossible for a hatchery to eliminate salmonella from their processing facilities, even with aggressive sterilization efforts. Hens who are infected with salmonella lay an egg that contains the bacteria. In a warm, dark environment, the bacteria grows at a rapid pace. The bacteria prevents the embryo from developing. If the egg is broken, the sticky egg fluid can easily transmit the bacteria to other eggs, animals, equipment, people working in the facility, etc.

When a person is infected with Salmonella, the disease is called Salmonellosis. It typically begins within 8-72 hours, and symptoms include malaise, headache, stomach ache, and nausea. Symptoms escalate to sudden diarrhea (which may be watery or bloody), vomiting, high fever, and severe abdominal pain. Symptoms of salmonellosis persist for up to a week. Healthy adults usually recover without hospitalization. However, loss of fluids from vomiting and diarrhea can cause life-threatening dehydration for young children, the elderly, pregnant women, or people with weakened immune systems.

Do I have a Salmonella Lawsuit?

The Schmidt Firm, PLLC is currently accepting salmonella induced injury cases in all 50 states. If you or somebody you know has been injured by an outbreak of salmonella poisoning, you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free case consultation. Please use the form below to contact our Food Poisoning Litigation Group or call toll free 24 hours a day at (866) 920-0753.

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