Minnesota health agency cracks salmonella mystery

When he was on MPR’s Midday on Friday, former state epidemiologist Michael Osterholm said this about the Minnesota Department of Public Health investigation into a nationwide salmonella outbreak:

The first cases occurred in early October. This has been gaining a head of steam with most cases occurring in the last six weeks. This is a common strain of salmonella. We have the ability to fingerprint the organisms. It took time for the “fingerprints” to be obtained. It has increased in the number of states which tells us a lot about the product involved. It’s probably a store-shelf product.

The cases in Minnesota are more recent nature. It’s likely that the Minnesota Department of Public Health will be the one to crack it.

He got all but the store-shelf product part right. Late Thursday afternoon the department determined it was from peanut butter, that’s delivered to hospitals, nursing homes, schools and other locations. But it’s not available on the store shelf.