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February 2018

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state and local officials are investigating a multistate outbreak of Salmonella infections linked to products reportedly containing kratom. The CDC reports that 28 people ages 6 to 67 years in 20 states are infected, with 11 people who have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.

Salmonella bacteria cause the foodborne illness salmonellosis. Most people infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps. The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days, and most people recover without treatment. However, in the current outbreak, an unusually high rate of cases have been hospitalized for their illness.

Kratom is a tropical deciduous tree native to Southeast Asia, with leaves that contain mitragynine, a psychoactive opioid. Kratom is consumed for mood-lifting effects, pain relief, and as an aphrodisiac. It is marketed in many forms, including leaves, pills, capsules, powder, and tea.

The FDA, CDC, and state and local officials are working to identify specific brand names or suppliers of products and will share more information as it becomes available. If you have questions about food safety, call 1-888-SAFEFOOD or consult the website at