Wisconsin investigating cases of resistant salmonella linked dairy calves

Wisconsin health and agriculture officials recently said they are investigating 12 human cases of drug-resistant salmonella Heidleberg that have been linked to contact with dairy bull calves and not to eating food.

Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) Spokeswoman Raechelle Bellie said the department is working with state and federal health officials to discover the source of the 12 cases, which were reported in eight counties.

"In many cases, the animal itself died as a result of the infection," Belli said. "We are still in the investigative stages of this, looking to see if we can determine how far it might have spread and what we can do to contain it.”

Belli said the salmonella Heidleberg strain was first reported last January and again in October.

“We’re still looking at doing the tracebacks on the different animals and where they might have gone, and what the commonalities are between the market chains that they’ve gone through and that type of thing," Belli said. "It could take some time to determine exactly how far this has gone.”

The federal Centers of Disease Control said laboratory findings have linked the Wisconsin cases to contact with dairy bull calves purchased from livestock markets in Wisconsin.

Belli said the food supply remains safe and no one should be concerned about eating beef that has been properly prepared or drinking properly pasteurized milk products.

Wisconsin Department of Health officials have not released the locations or counties where the Salmonella Heidelberg cases were reported, but confirmed that 21 people in eight states have been diagnosed but none have died.

Organizations in this story

Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection

Get notified the next time we write about Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection!