U.S. Department of Agriculture officials issued a public-health alert to warn consumers about salmonella illnesses linked to whole roasting pigs sold by Kapowsin Meats. It’s the second outbreak tied to the firm in a year.

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Federal food-safety regulators issued a public-health alert late Wednesday for whole roasting pigs supplied by a Pierce County slaughterhouse after the pork was linked to an outbreak of salmonella — the second in a year.

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) officials said whole hogs produced for barbecue by Kapowsin Meats of Graham, Pierce County, are possibly tied to an outbreak of Salmonella I 4, [5], 12:i:-. That’s the same strain tied to Kapowsin that sickened nearly 200 people in five states last year and sparked a recall of more than 600,000 pounds of meat.

USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) officials said an investigation by Washington State Department of Health officials had confirmed at least three patients were infected with the outbreak strain of bacteria this year between July 5 and July 7.

However, King County health officials said this week that as many as 11 confirmed and suspected cases had been detected after a luau in Seattle held July 3. Another case was also confirmed in Pierce County.

Kapowsin Meats was closed last year after the outbreak in June and July. FSIS officials said the firm had taken several steps to clean the facility and revamp hog-processing protocols. The slaughterhouse was allowed to reopen on June 13.

FSIS officials said in a statement Wednesday that they are working with Kapowsin to identify products to be removed from retail sale.

The investigation is ongoing and involves local and state health officials and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as FSIS.

In the meantime, consumers should follow safe food-handling practices when cooking whole roast pork to avoid illness, officials said.