This news item expired on Thursday, May 31, 2012 so the information below could be outdated or incorrect.
As of May 1, 2012, Buncombe County Department of Health reports 37 cases of Salmonella Paratyhpi B infection and continues to test and investigate people coming forward with symptoms of salmonella infection, some who ate tempeh and others who did not eat tempeh. The case interviews indicate that the disease transmission is linked to the outbreak in one of three ways: those who have eaten tempeh, those who have connections to others who have been ill with Salmonella Paratyphi b (person-to-person) and others that are under further investigation to determine if there are other sources of contamination associated with the outbreak.
Confirmatory lab results are expected later this week that should confirm whether the tempeh is a match to the type of Salmonella associated with the current outbreak. At this time we cannot assure people that if they stay away from the tempeh that they won’t get sick. Health officials appreciate the precautionary measures taken by Smiling Hara, who recalled their tempeh product while awaiting confirmation that the tempeh is directly linked to this outbreak.
The public is urged to continue taking precautions to help prevent getting or spreading salmonella infection by washing hands properly, cooking foods fully, seeking medical care if they have symptoms and following the Department of Agriculture’s recommendations to discard the recalled tempeh.
To listen to information, call the HOTLINE: 828-250-5300 (English, Spanish and Russian).
To report symptoms of Salmonella paratyphi B, call Communicable Disease Nurses: 828-250-5109.