Four Brown County salmonella cases blamed on peas sold at Green Bay farmers market

Doug Schneider

GREEN BAY - Four people in Brown County have contracted Salmonella poisoning, county officials said.

The Saturday Farmers Market draws up to 10,000 people to downtown Green Bay’s South Washington Street.

Authorities believe the cases stem from consumption of peas sold at a July 22 farmers market in Green Bay, said Anna Destree, Brown County's health officer. 

County authorities are reminding people to follow proper procedures for washing and preparing vegetables, but say there is no need to panic. 

"There's no need for people to say, 'Oh, my God, I can't buy peas,'" Flynt said. "They just need to follow proper washing and food-handling procedures."

Officials said any shelled peas purchased from downtown Green Bay farmers markets between July 19 and Aug. 5 should be thrown out.

Flynt did not have any word on the conditions of the county residents who were infected.

Salmonella is a bacteria that annually causes about 19,000 hospitalizations in the U.S., with roughly one death per day nationally, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Most people infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps 12 to 72 hours after infection.

According to the CDC's website, "the illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days; most individuals recover without treatment. In some cases, diarrhea may be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized. In these patients, the Salmonella infection may spread from the intestines to the blood stream, and then to other body sites.

"In these cases, Salmonella can cause death unless the person is treated promptly with antibiotics. The elderly, infants, and those with impaired immune systems are more likely to have a severe illness."