Multistate Salmonella outbreaks with more than 250 patients aren’t very common. So, it’s of note when one with 264 patients pops up. Even more so when the source of such a sizeable outbreak has eluded health officials.

But that’s the situation that has unfolded in recent days. On November 16,  the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that it is investigating a Salmonella Typhimurium outbreak that has sickened 264 people but it hasn’t yet identified the food source.

Between 2000 and 2020, there were 314 multistate Salmonella outbreaks, according to outbreak data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). About 6 percent of them had more than 250 patients.

Between 2017 and 2020, only five other outbreaks topped that benchmark:

  • 2020 onions,  Salmonella Newport,  1132 illnesses
  • 2018 ground beef, Salmonella Newport, 436 illnesses
  • 2017 turkey, Salmonella Reading, 358 illnesses
  • 2018 chicken salad, Salmonella Typhimurium,  265 illnesses
  • 2018 unknown source, Salmonella Saintpaul, 258 illnesses (The CDC did not announce this outbreak.)

These five outbreaks caused 570 hospitalizations and two deaths. In addition to chicken salad, the source of a large outbreak in 2018, other food sources associated with Salmonella Typhimurium outbreaks include: peanut butter, tomatoes, shredded lettuce, ice cream, alfalfa sprouts, cantaloupe, dried coconut, hazelnuts, and whey powder.

Large Salmonella outbreaks with unidentified sources aren’t common. Between 2000 and 2020, there were 54 multistate Salmonella outbreaks with at least 100 patients. Five of them had unknown sources. Just one of the 19 outbreaks with at least 250 patients was unsolved.


Symptoms of a Salmonella infection, which include nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea, usually develop within six to 72 hours of exposure. Most Salmonella infections go unreported. The CDC estimates that for every reported Salmonella illness there are 31 more unreported illnesses. That means more than, 8,000 people have been sickened in this “mystery” Salmonella outbreak.

Salmonella Lawyers with Experience

If you developed a Salmonella infection and would like a free consultation with an experienced Salmonella lawyer, please contact us. The Pritzker Hageman Salmonella Legal Team has represented clients in every major Salmonella outbreak in the U.S. You can reach us by calling 1-888-377-8900, sending a text to 612-261-0856, or by completing the form below. There is no obligation and we don’t get paid unless we win.