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Shredded coconut blamed for US salmonella outbreak

Shredded coconut is responsible for a widespread salmonella outbreak in the US, the CDC confirmed.

Coconut Tree Brand Frozen Shredded Coconut is being recalled after 25 people in 13 states, including New York, Texas and California, contracted the bacterial disease.

Salmonella, a disease that affects the stomach and digestive tract, can be fatal in young children, the elderly and those with weakened immune systems.

Shredded coconut, which is often used on desserts and meals such as macaroons and oatmeal, is a staple in many plant-based, nutritious diets and is usually safe to consume raw. 

Shredded coconut has been linked to a widespread salmonella outbreak in the US, the CDC confirmed

Several people who contracted the disease said they had consumed an Asian-style dessert drink at various restaurants weeks before they fell ill. 

One Boston restaurant was confirmed to have included shredded coconut from Coconut Tree Brand Frozen Shredded Coconut. Investigators believe the other restaurants may have also included the ingredient.

The coconut product, manufactured by the Evershing International Trading Company, has been distributed in Ohio, Massachusetts, Washington, California, and Oklahloma, Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Florida, and Texas.

Consumers and restaurants in these states are being urged to return the coconut product for a full refund.

Salmonella is one of the most common foodborne illnesses in the US, affecting 1.2 million people each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Symptoms of the disease include diarrhea, fever, chills and abdominal pain.

During the past few years, outbreaks have been linked to cucumbers, chicken, eggs, raw tuna, and sprouts.