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Salmonella Outbreak Linked to Popular Costco Meat Trays

Credit: NPR

In the latest culinary plot twist that nobody saw coming, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is waving a big red flag about a salmonella outbreak. This time, the culprit is none other than the beloved charcuterie meat trays, a staple at many of our impromptu gatherings and sophisticated soirees. And where were these platters of peril found, you ask? At our very own Costco and Sam’s Club stores!

Now, I know what you’re thinking: “Not my cherished assortment of cured meats!” But alas, it’s true. Since the CDC first raised the alarm earlier this month, at least 47 people in 22 states have fallen ill, with 10 of those unfortunate souls needing hospitalization.

The suspects? Two particular products that have charcuterie lovers raising their eyebrows in disbelief. First up, we have the Busseto brand charcuterie sampler from Sam’s Club – a delightful array of dried meats that’s now under the microscope. And then there’s the Fratelli Beretta brand Antipasto Gran Beretta from Costco, another twin pack of cured meat goodness that’s now in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons. These packs, boasting an array of salami, prosciutto, coppa, and soppressata, are the focus of the CDC’s ongoing investigation.

While detectives (aka the CDC investigators) are still piecing together the mystery, the CDC’s advice is clear: step away from the charcuterie. That’s right, no nibbling, no tasting. And if you’ve already introduced these meats to your fridge or kitchen counter, it’s time for a thorough wash-down to avoid any cross-contamination.

Salmonella, the bacteria at the center of this culinary conundrum, is no joke. It can really do a number on you, especially if you’re a youngster, an elder, or if your immune system isn’t up to snuff. The classic signs? Diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps, showing up anywhere from six hours to six days after you’ve made contact with the affected food.

The CDC is sounding the alarm for anyone experiencing symptoms like diarrhea paired with a fever over 102°F, diarrhea that just won’t quit for more than three days, bloody stools (yikes!), non-stop vomiting, or any signs that scream dehydration. If that’s you, it’s time to ring up your healthcare provider, pronto!

As for the investigation, it’s still a work in progress. The CDC and its team of food detectives are busy figuring out if other products are also playing host to this unwanted guest.

In the meantime, spokespeople for Busseto and Fratelli Beretta, both part of the same gastronomic empire, have put out the word that they’re in full cooperation mode with the authorities. Beyond what’s already in the Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service public health alert, they’re keeping mum.

So, what’s the moral of this slightly unsettling story? Well, it’s a reminder that even the most innocent-looking platter of cured meats can sometimes hide a not-so-pleasant surprise. It’s a call to all foodies to stay vigilant, keep informed, and maybe, just for now, give that charcuterie board a little break. After all, there’s always cheese and crackers to tide us over!