Published Date: 2005-06-03 23:50:00
Subject: PRO/AH/EDR> Salmonellosis, foodborne, fatal - USA (SC)(03): turkey
Archive Number: 20050603.1550
SALMONELLOSIS, FOODBORNE, FATAL - USA (SOUTH CAROLINA) (03): TURKEY
A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases
Date: Fri 3 Jun 2005
From: ProMED-mail <email@example.com>
Source: SC Dept. of Health and Environmental Control News Release [edited]
Under cooked turkey most likely cause of salmonella outbreak
Laboratory analyses of turkey samples has identified _Salmonella
enteritidis_ [_Salmonella enterica_ serotype Enteritidis - Mod.LL] as the
probable cause of the food borne outbreak in Camden, the SC Department of
Health and Environmental Control said Fri 3 Jun 2005. 20 specimens
collected from ill patrons also have tested positive for the same
bacterium, a bacteria that lives in the intestinal tracts of animals and
birds and that is transmitted to humans by contaminated foods of animal origin.
"Results of the epidemiological investigation, which included interviews of
both ill and non-ill patrons, found turkey to be significantly associated
with illness," said Jerry Gibson, MD, state epidemiologist and director of
DHEC's Bureau of Disease Control. "But smaller contributions of other food
items cannot be ruled out, possibly due to cross-contamination during
cooking or serving."
To date, there have been 304 confirmed and suspected cases, with 56
hospital admissions for people reportedly exposed between 19 and 22 May
2005. Additionally, the Kershaw County coroner has attributed one death
from the outbreak to sepsis related to salmonella infection.
DHEC's investigation of the outbreak in Camden associated with the Old
South restaurant identified several factors that may have contributed to
the large number of cases. In addition, an inspection of the facility did
identify some equipment that was not functioning properly, which may have
led to under cooking of products.
"Based on the statistical and laboratory evidence, along with knowledge
about the biology of salmonella, it is likely that turkey was the vehicle,
with preparation and handling practices possibly contributing to illness,"
Dr. Gibson said.
"The restaurant has been cooperative with DHEC personnel during the
investigation. The owners are in communication with DHEC environmental
health personnel and are discussing training opportunities for the kitchen
staff," said Sandra Craig, director of DHEC's Division of Food Protection.
The training will include ServSafe, a certification program developed by
the National Restaurant Association, she said. The focus of ServSafe is to
train foodservice managers about general food safety principles and Hazard
Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) concepts. The ServSafe training
will be provided through a partnership between the SC Hospitality
Association and Clemson Extension Service. Additionally, DHEC will conduct
individual risk assessment training in the restaurant.
The investigation continues with both DHEC and federal partners looking at
additional laboratory testing to determine possible sources of
contamination throughout the food production process.
"While there are many opportunities for food to become contaminated as it
is produced and prepared, the proper cooking and handling of food is the
best defense in protecting yourself against food borne illnesses," Craig said.
She said other risk factors that restaurants need to control to prevent
- Proper holding temperatures for potentially hazardous food
- Proper cooling and reheating of potentially hazardous food
- Ill (infectious) personnel restricted from working
- Proper hygiene (good hand washing)
- Cross contamination of food and equipment prevented
- All equipment, utensils and food contact items washed, rinsed and sanitized
- All food obtained from approved sources