More than 100 foodborne salmonellosis outbreaks occur each year in the United States. Contaminated food preparation equipment is implicated in approximately 32% of Salmonella outbreaks with a known source. In April 2009, we investigated reported Salmonella infections at a camp in New Hampshire. Camp attendees were contacted to complete a standard questionnaire. The questionnaire asked about foods eaten while at the camp, symptoms of gastrointestinal illness, visits to healthcare providers, and specimen submission for pathogen testing. Laboratory and environmental investigations were conducted, including testing of foods and food preparation equipment. A total of 133 ill persons, including 47 laboratory-confirmed Salmonella Enteritidis infections, were identified during this investigation. A total of 142 (80%) of 178 camp attendees completed a standard questionnaire and 109 cases of gastrointestinal illness and 33 healthy individuals were identified. Statistical analysis of survey data indicated that people who ate pudding were 15 times more likely to become ill with salmonellosis than those who did not eat pudding (risk ratio, 15.2; 95% confidence interval, 2.3-102.3). Salmonella Enteritidis was identified in leftover pudding and in the internal mixing components of the blender used to mix the pudding. All patient, food, and blender isolates exhibited the same pulsed-field gel electrophoresis pattern. This outbreak of Salmonella Enteritidis was caused by a Salmonella-contaminated hand-held immersion blender used to prepare pudding at a camp. A malfunctioning blender shaft seal is suspected to have resulted in contamination of the blender and subsequently pudding prepared using the blender.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In summer 2009, the Utah Department of Health investigated an outbreak of Shiga-toxigenic Escherichia coli (STEC) O157:H7 (O157) illness associated with attendance at multiple rodeos.
Patients were interviewed regarding exposures during the week before illness onset. A ground beef traceback investigation was performed. Ground beef samples from patient homes and a grocery store were tested for STEC O157. Rodeo managers were interviewed regarding food vendors present and cattle used at the rodeos. Environmental samples were collected from rodeo grounds. Two-enzyme pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and multiple-locus variable-number tandem repeat analysis (MLVA) were performed on isolates.
Fourteen patients with primary STEC O157 illness were reported in this outbreak. Isolates from all patients were indistinguishable by PFGE. Isolates from nine patients had identical MLVA patterns (main outbreak strain), and five had minor differences. Thirteen (93%) patients reported ground beef consumption during the week before illness onset. Results of the ground beef traceback investigation and ground beef sampling were negative. Of 12 primary patients asked specifically about rodeo attendance, all reported having attended a rodeo during the week before illness onset; four rodeos were mentioned. All four rodeos had used bulls from the same cattle supplier. An isolate of STEC O157 identified from a dirt sample collected from the bullpens of one of the attended rodeos was indistinguishable by PFGE and MLVA from the main outbreak strain.
Recommendations were provided to rodeo management to keep livestock and manure separate from rodeo attendees. This is the first reported STEC O157 outbreak associated with attendance at multiple rodeos. Public health officials should be aware of the potential for rodeo-associated STEC illness.
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