KEY POINTS

  • Five people from three states have so far fallen ill amid the current Salmonella outbreak
  • In interviews, cashew brie cheese was said to be the "only common product identified"
  • The company has recalled all of its products from the market

Authorities are currently investigating a multi-state Salmonella outbreak that appears to be linked to cashew brie cheese.

California-based Jule's Foods recently recalled all its products as they may be contaminated with Salmonella. In the recall notice posted on the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) website, the agency noted that it has "preliminary confirmation" of Salmonella in the brie products with cashews.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) further noted in a media statement that interviews and information tracing suggested that Jule's cashew brie may be the possible source of a current Salmonella outbreak. Specifically, three of the five people interviewed reported eating Jule's truffle cashew brie, the investigation details said, noting that it was the "only common product" identified.

"On April 22, California officials found Salmonella in samples of all varieties of Jule's cashew brie collected from grocery stores," the CDC said in a food safety alert. "Investigators are working to confirm if the Salmonella bacteria found in these products is the same bacteria making people sick in this outbreak."

As of April 23, there have been five illnesses reported from three states. Based on the outbreak map, California and Tennessee reported two cases each, while Florida reported one. The illnesses started from Feb. 1 to 27, and two of those who fell ill had to be hospitalized.

The number of sick people in the outbreaks are "likely" higher than in the reports, the CDC said. This is because many of the people who fell ill just get well without even needing medical care and thus end up not getting tested for Salmonella. What's more, it takes up to four weeks to see whether a person is included in the outbreak data.

What Should Consumers Do?

The recall includes all expiration dates of Jule's Cashew Brie (Classic), Jule's Truffle Cashew Brie, Jule's Black Garlic Cashew Brie, Jule's Artichoke Spinach Dip and Jule's Vegan Ranch Dressing. They were sold online nationwide and in grocery stores in multiple states, including California, Colorado, New Jersey, New York, Texas and Pennsylvania, the FDA noted.

Those who may have bought the products are advised not to eat them and instead either throw them away or return them to the place of purchase. Containers where the products were stored or placed, should also be cleaned using "hot soapy water," the CDC advised.

Generally, those who believe they may have gotten ill from eating a recalled product should contact their healthcare provider. In the case of the current outbreak, consumers should do so once they experience symptoms such as bloody diarrhea, a lot of vomiting, fever, diarrhea that's not improving and signs of dehydration.

Although most people can recover from Salmonella without any treatment, some populations are more at risk of developing a severe illness. This includes young children, the elderly and those with weakened immune systems.

Cheese Pictured: Representative image of brie cheese. Photo: Pixabay