Plant Used as Opioid Substitute Linked to Salmonella Outbreak, Officials Say

Plant Used as Opioid Substitute Linked to Salmonella Outbreak, Officials Say Photo: KSTP/File

March 16, 2018 12:01 PM

The Minnesota Departments of Health and Agriculture are joining the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in warning the public not to consume a plant known as kratom because it may be contaminated with Salmonella bacteria.

A release from the Department of Health said officials are investigating a multi-state outbreak of Salmonella infections that have been linked to the plant's consumption.


Two of those cases came in Minnesota, both involving adults who became ill in January. Both individuals were hospitalized and have since recovered.

RELATED: Pet Food Product Recalled after Being Traced to Two Cases of Salmonella in Twin Cities

The release said the plant is native to Southeast Asia and is used for stimulant effects and as an opioid substitute. It may also be known as thang, kakuam, thom, ketom or biak. It can be consumed as a pill or powder, as well as used to make tea.

Overall, the release said 87 cases have been identified in 35 states in the current outbreak.


Frank Rajkowski

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