Foodborne Illness Outbreaks

2017 was somewhat of a quiet year for significant, yet still deadly, outbreaks.

Listeria – Cheese

The first to be noticed was announced by the CDC in March of 2017.  By then the CDC had been collaborating with public health and regulatory officials in several states and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to investigate a multistate outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes infections (listeriosis). According to the CDC, Listeria specimens were collected from ill people from September 1, 2016 to March 13, 2017. Ill people ranged in age from less than one year to 89 years, with a median age of 52 years. Five of eight ill people were female. All eight (100%) ill people were hospitalized, including two people from Connecticut and Vermont who died. One of the illnesses was reported in a newborn. Victims came from Connecticut (1), Florida (1), New York (5) and Vermont (1)

Epidemiologic and laboratory evidence indicated that soft raw milk cheese made by Vulto Creamery of Walton, New York, was the likely source of this outbreak. State and local health departments interviewed ill people or their family members about the foods they ate or other exposures in the month before their illness started. Based on those interviews, eight (100%) of eight people ate a soft cheese. The ill resident of Florida reported traveling to New York state and eating soft cheese there before becoming ill. Available information indicated that cheese made by Vulto Creamery was for sale at stores where at least seven of the ill people bought cheese before getting sick.

The Connecticut Department of Public Health collected leftover cheeses from the home of the deceased person in Connecticut. The outbreak strain of Listeria was identified in a leftover cheese that the family identified as Ouleout cheese from Vulto Creamery. The New York Division of Milk Control and Dairy Services collected three intact wheels of Ouleout cheese from Vulto Creamery. The outbreak strain of Listeria was identified in samples taken from the three wheels of cheese. On March 7, 2017, Vulto Creamery recalled all lots of Ouleout, Miranda, Heinennellie, and Willowemoc soft wash-rind raw milk cheeses. On March 10, the company expanded the recall to include four other cheeses: Andes, Blue Blais, Hamden, and Walton Umber. The raw milk cheeses were distributed nationwide, with most sold in stores in the northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states; California; Chicago; Portland, Oregon; and Washington, D.C.

E. coli – Soy Nut Butter

The CDC reported on May 2017, that although the outbreak investigation is over, illnesses may continue for some time. The recalled SoyNut Butter products have long shelf lives and may still be in people’s homes or in institutions. People who don’t know about the recalls could continue to eat the products and get sick.

Thirty-two people infected with the outbreak strains of STEC O157:H7 were reported from 12 states. Arizona 4, California 5, Florida 2, Illinois 1, Massachusetts 1, Maryland 1, Missouri 1, New Jersey 1, Oregon 11, Virginia 2, Washington 2 and Wisconsin 1. Twelve people were hospitalized. Nine people developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a type of kidney failure. Twenty-six (81%) of the 32-ill people in this outbreak were younger than 18 years. Epidemiologic, laboratory, and traceback evidence indicated that I.M. Healthy brand SoyNut Butter was the likely source of this outbreak. Several soy nut products were recalled.

On March 28, 2017, the FDA issued a Suspension of Food Facility Registration Order to Dixie Dew of Erlanger, Ky., after an inspection revealed insanitary conditions at the firm that could affect the safety of finished products. Dixie Dew is the contract manufacturer for SoyNut Butter Company’s soy nut butter products. The close out of the outbreak investigation does not affect the suspension order.

Botulism – Cheese Sauce

Also in May, the California Department of Health reported an outbreak of foodborne botulism originating from the Valley Oak Food and Fuel gas station in Walnut Grove left 10 people hospitalized, the state Department of Health reported Friday, and an Antioch resident died as a result.

The botulism outbreak was reported to have come from nacho cheese sauce sold at the Valley Oak Food and Fuel gas station in Walnut Grove. Inspection reports for the Valley Oaks Food and Fuel station show that on May 6 and 7, officers impounded bags of Montecito nacho cheese tortilla chips and closed the facility. On May 8, health officers from the state Department of Health impounded four bags of Gehls cheese sauce and reopened the store to sell prepackaged food items only.

Let’s hope for even fewer outbreak in the coming New Year.

A bit(e) more history:

Poisoned: The True Story of the Deadly E. Coli Outbreak That Changed the Way Americans Eat, By Jeff Benedict

2017 – This Food Poisoning Expert Revealed The 6 Things He Refuses To EatHealthyWay, R.J.Wilson, May 18

2016 –  How one Attorney Is Trying to Make Food Safer Civil Beat News, Rui Kaneya, August 22

2016 – This genius lawyer is our best hope against deadly food poisoning Mother Jones, Kiera Butler, May 20

2016 – 7 Things We Learned About Food Safety Oversight From A Foodborne IllnessExpert Consumerist, Ashlee Kieler, February 2

2015 – Profile in Obsession: Bill Marler, Naomi Tomky, March 24

2015 – The New Yorker – A Bug in the System The New Yorker, Wil S. Hylton, February 2

2014 – Q&A: Food Safety Lawyer Bill Marler on What Not to Eat The National Law Journal, Jenna Greene, November 3

2012 – Bill Marler, Attorney, Blogger, and Food Safety Advocate, Talks Turkey (Or Spinach, Rather) Miami New Times, Ily Goyanes, November 2

2012 – Bill Marler Interview, Part Two: His Most Difficult Cases and Lobbying Congress Miami New Times, Ily Goyanes, November 14

2012 – Profiles in Public Health Law: Interview with William “Bill” Marler CDC Public Health Law News, July

2012 – Food Safety Lawyer Bill Marler On Sprouts, Raw Milk, and Why “Local” Isn’t Always Safer Blisstree.com, Hanna Brooks Olsen, March 5

2011 – Listeria outbreak draws Seattle lawyer to battle Associated Press, Shannon Dininny, October 9

2011 – Food-Borne Illness Attorney: Top Foods to Avoid ABC News, Neal Karlinsky, September 29

2011 – How to Keep Food Free of Salmonella: Lawsuits The Atlantic, Barry Estabrook, August 31

2011 – More Stomach-Churning Facts about the E. Coli Outbreak New York Times, Mark Bittman, June 8

2011 – Bill Marler: A Personal Injury Attorney and More The Xemplar, Nicole Black, June 1

2011 – Good Food Hero: Bill Marler, Food Safety Attorney Good Food World, Gail Nickel-Kailing, May 23

2011- Poisoned: The True Story of the Deadly E. coli Outbreak that Changed the Way Americans Eat Inspire Books, Jeff Benedict, May 15

2011 – New Book Chronicles Islander Marler’s Work Bainbridge Island Review, Connie Mears, May 13

2010 – Food Safety Lawyer Puts His Money Where Your Mouth Is AOL News, Andrew Schneider, September 29

2009 – Bill Marler: Taking on E.coli, BigAg, Raw Milk, Conspiracy Theorists, and the USDA Simple, Good, and Tasty, Shai Danielson, December 16

2009 – Food Safety Lawyer’s Wish: Put Me Out of Business Seattle Times, Maureen O’Hagan, November 23

2009 – WSU Discourse on Food Safety, Courtesy Seattle Lawyer Kitsap Sun, Tristan Baurick,  August 29

2009 – Calling for Real Food Safety Reform: Bill Marler for FSIS Civil Eats, David Murphy, June 24

2009 – When Food Sickens, He Heads for Courthouse Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Matt McKinney, June 24

2009 –  Bill Marler, The Food-Safety Litigator Culinate, Miriam Wolf, April

2009 – Food Fight:Bill Marler’s Beef (PDF) Washington Law & Politics, David Volk, May

2009 – Candidate for Top FSIS Job talks E. coli Testing, Irradiation, Education The Meating Place, Ann Bagel Storck, February 6

2009 – Five Minutes with Bill Marler, Well Known Lawyer, Food Safety Activist CattleNetwork, Chuck Jolley, February 5

2009 – Outspoken Food Safety Attorney Wants In The Washington Post, Ed O’Keefe, January 27

2008 –  E. Coli Lawyer Is Busier Than Ever Associated Press, February 4

2007 –  Legally Speaking: The Food Poisoning Lawyer The Southeast Texas Record, John G. Browning, November 20

2007 –  The Nation’s Leading Food-borne Illness Attorney Tells All Washington State Magazine, Hannelore Sudermann, August

2007 – Food Fight Portland Oregonian, Alex Pulaski, March

2006 –  How a Tiny Law Firm Made Hay Out of Tainted Spinach The Wall Street Journal, Heather Won Tesoriero and Peter Lattman, September 27

2001 –  THE INSIDE STORY: How 11 Schoolkids Got $4.75 Million in E. coli Lawsuit MeatingPlace.com, Bryan Salvage, March 7

2001 –  Hammer Time: Preparation Pays When Disputes Escalate to Lawsuits Meat & Poultry Magazine, David Hendee

2001 –  For Seattle Attorney, A Bacterium Brings Riches—and Enemies The Wall Street Journal, Rachel Zimmerman

2001 –  The Bug That Ate The Burger Los Angeles Times, Emily Green, June

1999 –  Courting Publicity, Attorney Makes Safe Food His Business Seattle Post, Maggie Leung, September 7

According to press reports, Mama Stortini’s Restaurant & Bar in Northgate closed after 15 people from five meal parties became ill after eating there in early December.

The King County and Seattle health department is investigating a foodborne illness outbreak associated with norovirus.

From Dec. 11-12, the health department learned of 15 people who reported getting sick after eating at Mama Stortini’s, located at 401 NE Northgate Way. Investigators visited and closed the restaurant Tuesday.

According to Public Health, the restaurant will undergo a thorough cleaning and sanitizing. Health investigators will revisit the restaurant before allowing it to reopen.

During the field inspection, investigators identified 14 employees who experienced similar symptoms – nausea, vomiting, diarrhea – in the last two weeks.

The health department does not have laboratory confirmation of the pathogen responsible for the illness, but symptoms are suggestive of norovirus.

Norovirus is a highly contagious virus that frequently spreads person-to-person and is often associated with food.

Why you should take note?

The Public Health Agency of Canada is collaborating with provincial public health partners, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and Health Canada to investigate an outbreak of Escherichia coli O157, commonly called E. coli. The outbreak involves three provinces and is linked to romaine lettuce. At this time, there are no product recalls associated with this outbreak. The outbreak investigation is ongoing, and this public health notice will be updated on a regular basis as the investigation evolves.

The risk to Canadians is low. However, Canadians are reminded to follow safe food handling practices for lettuce to avoid becoming ill. Most people with an E. coli infection will become ill for a few days and then recover fully. Some E. coli infections can be life threatening, though this is rare.

How does lettuce become contaminated with E. coli?

E. coli are bacteria that live naturally in the intestines of cattle, poultry and other animals. A common source of E. coli illness is raw fruits and vegetables that have come in contact with feces from infected animals. Leafy greens, such as lettuce, can become contaminated in the field by soil, contaminated water, animals or improperly composted manure. Lettuce can also be contaminated by bacteria during and after harvest from handling, storing and transporting the produce. Contamination in lettuce is also possible at the grocery store, in the refrigerator, or from counters and cutting boards through cross-contamination with harmful bacteria from raw meat, poultry or seafood. Most E. coli strains are harmless to humans, but some varieties cause illness.

Investigation summary

Currently, there are 21 cases of E. coli O157 illness under investigation in three provinces: Quebec (3), New Brunswick (5), and Newfoundland and Labrador (13). Individuals became sick in November 2017. Ten individuals have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported. Individuals who became ill are between the ages of 5 and 72 years of age. The majority of cases (71%) are female.

Many individuals who became sick reported eating romaine lettuce before their illnesses occurred. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is working with public health officials to determine the source of the romaine lettuce that ill individuals were exposed to.

Who is most at risk?

Although anyone can get an E. coli infection, pregnant women, those with weakened immune systems, young children and older adults are most at risk for developing serious complications.

What you should do to protect your health?

The following food safety tips for lettuce will help you reduce your risk of getting an E. coli infection.

  • Wash your hands thoroughly with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds, before and after handling lettuce.
  • Discard outer leaves of fresh lettuce.
  • Wash your unpackaged lettuce under fresh, cool running water. There is no need to use anything other than water to wash lettuce. Washing it gently with water is as effective as using produce cleansers.
  • Keep rinsing your lettuce until all of the dirt has been washed away.
  • Don’t soak lettuce in a sink full of water. It can become contaminated by bacteria in the sink.
  • Ready-to-eat lettuce products sold in sealed packages and labelled as washed, pre-washed or triple washed do not need to be washed again.
  • Use warm water and soap to thoroughly wash all utensils, countertops and cutting boards before and after handling lettuce to avoid cross-contamination.
  • Store lettuce in the refrigerator for up to seven days. Discard when leaves become wilted or brown.
  • Bagged, ready-to-eat, pre-washed lettuce products should also be refrigerated and used before the expiration date.

What are the symptoms?

People infected with E. coli can have a wide range of symptoms. Some do not get sick at all, though they can still spread the infection to others. Others may feel as though they have a bad case of upset stomach. In some cases, individuals become seriously ill and must be hospitalized.

The following symptoms can appear within one to ten days after contact with the bacteria:

  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • headache
  • mild fever
  • severe stomach cramps
  • watery or bloody diarrhea

Most symptoms end within five to ten days. While most people recover completely on their own, some people may have a more serious illness that requires hospital care, or may lead to long-lasting health effects. In rare cases, some individuals may develop life-threatening symptoms, including stroke, kidney failure and seizures, which could result in death.

There is no real treatment for E. coli infections, other than monitoring the illness, providing comfort, and preventing dehydration through proper hydration and nutrition. People who develop complications may need further treatment, like dialysis for kidney failure. You should contact your health care provider if symptoms persist.

What is the Government of Canada doing?

The Government of Canada is committed to food safety. The Public Health Agency of Canada leads the human health investigation into an outbreak and is in regular contact with its federal and provincial partners to monitor the situation and to collaborate on steps to address the outbreak.

Health Canada undertakes food-related health risk assessments to determine whether the presence of a certain substance or microorganism poses a health risk to consumers.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency conducts food safety investigations into the possible food source of an outbreak.

The Government of Canada will continue to update Canadians as new information related to this investigation becomes available.

Additional information

 

SOURCE Health Canada

Seattle – A complaint was filed last night against Fred Meyer, Inc. in Mason County Superior Court on behalf of Nancy Green of Shelton by the Seattle Food Safety Law Firm, Marler Clark. The complaint claims that pre-cut cantaloupe purchased was contaminated with Salmonella Newport bacteria. Green v. Fred Meyer Complaint

Nancy Green became ill after consuming pre-cut cantaloupe on November 1, 2017 and within 24 hours began experiencing symptoms of nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach cramps, fever, muscle aches, fatigue, and headaches. Nancy required hospitalization for her illness.

The complaint cites the Washington State Department of Health’s current investigation into a cluster of eighteen Salmonella cases in Washington and Oregon linked to fruits sold at QFC, Fred Meyer, Rosauers, and Central Market establishments.

Lab results have identified Salmonella Newport as the cause of her infection.  According to the Washington and Oregon Departments of Health, at least 18 people, including Ms. Green have been identified as part of the outbreak.

To date, Marler Clark has been contacted by two other individuals affected in the outbreak.

BACKGROUND: Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of Salmonella outbreaks. The Salmonella lawyers of Marler Clark have represented thousands of victims of Salmonella and other foodborne illness outbreaks and have recovered over $600 million for clients.  Marler Clark is the only law firm in the nation with a practice focused exclusively on foodborne illness litigation.  Our Salmonella lawyers have litigated Salmonella cases stemming from outbreaks traced to a variety of foods, such as cantaloupe, tomatoes, ground turkey, salami, sprouts, cereal, peanut butter, and food served in restaurants.  The law firm has brought Salmonella lawsuits against such companies as Cargill, ConAgra, Peanut Corporation of America, Sheetz, Taco Bell, Subway and Wal-Mart.

If you or a family member became ill with a Salmonella infection, including Reactive Arthritis or Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), after consuming food and you’re interested in pursuing a legal claim, contact the Marler Clark Salmonella attorneys for a free case evaluation.

The Minnesota Department of Health has linked a Salmonella outbreak to two Burger King restaurants in Bemidji.

Doug Schultz, a spokesperson for the Health Department, said the department has confirmed 27 cases, and received reports of four more probable cases.

Both Burger King sites closed on Thursday, November 30th.

“They may have been sick a couple weeks or so before then,” Schultz said. “It takes a while before people get symptoms, and then they’re sick enough to go to the doctor, and then we identify.”

Once the Department of Health identified the outbreak in September they put “stringent” interventions in place, Schultz said. The Burger Kings were both cleaned and any employees with symptoms were kept from working until they were symptom-free for 72 hours, but the precautions did not stop the outbreak.

“Most of the time that does the trick, 98 percent of the time we don’t see further transmission,” Schultz said. “In this case we had two additional illnesses pop up this week.”

Schultz said the MDH believes the outbreak is due to employee illness, rather than a specific contaminated food item. Before the restaurants can reopen each employee must be tested for salmonella twice.

According to Schultz, the restaurants will reopen next week, at the earliest, after a thorough re-cleaning.

“We do clearly have evidence of food worker illness being part of the problem,” Schultz said.

Burger King has not released a statement on the outbreak.

Symptoms of Salmonella infection, or Salmonellosis, range widely, and are sometimes absent altogether. The most common symptoms include diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever. Typical Symptoms of Salmonella infection: Appear 6 to 72 hours after eating contaminated food and last for 3 to 7 days without treatment.

•           Diarrhea

•           Abdominal Cramps

•           Fever of 100 F to 102 F

•           Bloody diarrhea

•           Vomiting

•           Headache

•           Body Aches
If you or a family member became ill with a Salmonella infection after consuming contaminated food and you’re interested in pursuing a legal claim, you can contact the Marler Clark Salmonella attorneys for a free case evaluation. Marler Clark is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of Salmonella outbreaks and other foodborne illnesses. The law firm has represented thousands of victims of Salmonella and other foodborne illness infections, and is the only firm in the nation with a practice focused exclusively on foodborne illness litigation. You can fill out the contact form or call toll-free at 866-770-2032.

The Georgia Department of Public Health has confirmed it was Salmonella that sickened people at an employee event catered by Angelo’s New York Style Pizza and Bistro, a Cartersville-based restaurant, last week at Toyo Tire Company in White, Georgia.

State inspectors took samples from people who fell ill after the event, which led to five people being hospitalized.

Angelo’s New York Style Pizza and Bistro has voluntarily closed. The state says it will stay closed until the week of November 27.

In the meantime, workers from the restaurant are receiving what is called “rigorous training in safe food handling from the Bartow County Health Department.”

Approximately 1,800 Toyo Tire employees attended the event. The state says research to make sure no one was else was affected by the salmonella is continuing.

Persons whose symptoms are severe should see their doctor or health care provider — especially if their symptoms include the following:

  • High fever (temperature over 101.5°F, measured orally)
  • Blood in stools
  • Frequent vomiting that prevents keeping liquids down (which can lead to dehydration)
  • Signs of dehydration, including a marked decrease in urination, a very dry mouth and throat, or feeling dizzy when standing up.
  • Diarrhea that lasts more than 3 days

If you or a family member became ill with a Salmonella infection after consuming contaminated food and you’re interested in pursuing a legal claim, you can contact the Marler Clark Salmonella attorneys for a free case evaluation. Marler Clark is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of Salmonella outbreaks and other foodborne illnesses. The law firm has represented thousands of victims of Salmonella and other foodborne illness infections, and is the only firm in the nation with a practice focused exclusively on foodborne illness litigation. You can fill out the contact form or call toll-free at 866-770-2032.

The Washington Department of Health announced today a Salmonella outbreak involving pre-cut watermelon, cantaloupe, or fruit mixes containing watermelon or cantaloupe in both Washington and Oregon.

People who purchased these products on or about Oct. 25 up to Dec. 1 from QFC, Fred Meyer, Rosauers, and Central Market in Washington and Oregon are urged not to eat the fruit and throw it away.

Eighteen people from King (5), Mason (1), Pierce (1), Snohomish (7), Thurston (1), and Yakima (1) counties and two individuals from Oregon have been diagnosed with Salmonella.

DOH is working with state and federal partners to determine the source of the fruit, including where it was cut and packaged, and if there may be additional retailers where related products were sold.

Lab results identified Salmonella Newport as the cause. The symptoms include fever, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. People experiencing any of these symptoms should contact their health care provider. In severe cases, the infection can be fatal.

Infants, young children, the elderly, pregnant women, and those with a weakened immune system are at greatest risk.

Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of Salmonella outbreaks. The Salmonella lawyers of Marler Clark have represented thousands of victims of Salmonella and other foodborne illness outbreaks and have recovered over $600 million for clients.  Marler Clark is the only law firm in the nation with a practice focused exclusively on foodborne illness litigation.  Our Salmonella lawyers have litigated Salmonella cases stemming from outbreaks traced to a variety of foods, such as cantaloupe, tomatoes, ground turkey, salami, sprouts, cereal, peanut butter, and food served in restaurants.  The law firm has brought Salmonella lawsuits against such companies as Cargill, ConAgra, Peanut Corporation of America, Sheetz, Taco Bell, Subway and Wal-Mart.

If you or a family member became ill with a Salmonella infection, including Reactive Arthritis or Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), after consuming food and you’re interested in pursuing a legal claim, contact the Marler Clark Salmonella attorneys for a free case evaluation.

The Department of Health announced today a Salmonella outbreak involving pre-cut watermelon, cantaloupe, or fruit mixes containing watermelon or cantaloupe in both Washington and Oregon.

People who purchased these products on or about Oct. 25 up to Dec. 1 from QFC, Fred Meyer, Rosauers, and Central Market in Washington and Oregon are urged not to eat the fruit and throw it away.

Eighteen people from King (5), Mason (1), Pierce (1), Snohomish (7), Thurston (1), and Yakima (1) counties and two individuals from Oregon have been diagnosed with Salmonella.

DOH is working with state and federal partners to determine the source of the fruit, including where it was cut and packaged, and if there may be additional retailers where related products were sold.

Lab results identified Salmonella Newport as the cause. The symptoms include fever, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. People experiencing any of these symptoms should contact their health care provider. In severe cases, the infection can be fatal.

Infants, young children, the elderly, pregnant women, and those with a weakened immune system are at greatest risk.

Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of Salmonella outbreaks. The Salmonella lawyers of Marler Clark have represented thousands of victims of Salmonella and other foodborne illness outbreaks and have recovered over $600 million for clients.  Marler Clark is the only law firm in the nation with a practice focused exclusively on foodborne illness litigation.  Our Salmonella lawyers have litigated Salmonella cases stemming from outbreaks traced to a variety of foods, such as cantaloupe, tomatoes, ground turkey, salami, sprouts, cereal, peanut butter, and food served in restaurants.  The law firm has brought Salmonella lawsuits against such companies as Cargill, ConAgra, Peanut Corporation of America, Sheetz, Taco Bell, Subway and Wal-Mart.

If you or a family member became ill with a Salmonella infection, including Reactive Arthritis or Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), after consuming food and you’re interested in pursuing a legal claim, contact the Marler Clark Salmonella attorneys for a free case evaluation.

The Bemidji Pioneer reported two Burger King restaurants in Bemidji temporarily closed Thursday after more than two dozen people contracted salmonella after eating there.

Doug Schultz, a spokesperson with the Minnesota Department of Health, said the department has confirmed 27 cases, and received reports of four more probable cases.

Both Burger King sites voluntarily decided to close Thursday.

Most cases were identified in September, he said, but the victims may have been exposed to salmonella before then. Two additional cases came to light this week, prompting the closures.

“They may have been sick a couple weeks or so before then,” Schultz said. “It takes a while before people get symptoms, and then they’re sick enough to go to the doctor, and then we identify.”

Symptoms of salmonella, a bacterial disease that infects the intestinal tract, can include nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, fever, chills, headache and blood in the stool, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Once the Department of Health identified the outbreak in September they put “stringent” interventions in place, Schultz said. The Burger Kings were both cleaned and any employees with symptoms were kept from working until they were symptom-free for 72 hours, but the precautions did not stop the outbreak.

“Most of the time that does the trick, 98 percent of the time we don’t see further transmission,” Schultz said. “In this case we had two additional illnesses pop up this week.”

Schultz said the MDH believes the outbreak is due to employee illness, rather than a specific contaminated food item. Before the restaurants can reopen each employee must be tested for salmonella twice.

The earliest the Burger Kings could reopen is next week, according to Schultz. The restaurants must also be thoroughly re-cleaned.

“We do clearly have evidence of food worker illness being part of the problem,” Schultz said.

Attempts to reach the Burger King restaurants for comment were unsuccessful.

Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of Salmonella outbreaks. The Salmonella lawyers of Marler Clark have represented thousands of victims of Salmonella and other foodborne illness outbreaks and have recovered over $600 million for clients.  Marler Clark is the only law firm in the nation with a practice focused exclusively on foodborne illness litigation.  Our Salmonella lawyers have litigated Salmonella cases stemming from outbreaks traced to a variety of foods, such as cantaloupe, tomatoes, ground turkey, salami, sprouts, cereal, peanut butter, and food served in restaurants.  The law firm has brought Salmonella lawsuits against such companies as Cargill, ConAgra, Peanut Corporation of America, Sheetz, Taco Bell, Subway and Wal-Mart.

If you or a family member became ill with a Salmonella infection, including Reactive Arthritis or Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), after consuming food and you’re interested in pursuing a legal claim, contact the Marler Clark Salmonella attorneys for a free case evaluation.

Public Health is currently investigating an outbreak of salmonellosis (caused by Salmonella bacteria) associated with Miller’s Guild restaurant.

Six persons from four separate meal parties became ill after eating at the restaurant on different dates during 8/15/17 –11/3/17; one of the ill persons was hospitalized and has since recovered.

Laboratory testing has indicated that three of the ill persons were infected with the same strain of Salmonella bacteria, called Salmonella Braenderup by genetic “fingerprint”, suggesting they have a common source of infection; the other three ill persons were not tested. In past years, fewer than five cases of this strain of Salmonella Braenderup were reported in King County.

As part of the Public Health investigation, Environmental Health investigators visited and closed the restaurant on 11/21/17. During the field inspection, potential risk factors, such as practices that contribute to the risk of cross contamination, were identified and discussed with the owner. During the visit, several environmental samples were collected for laboratory testing to potentially identify the source of Salmonella contamination.

The restaurant is working cooperatively with Public Health to do a thorough cleaning and sanitation.

To prevent additional illnesses, several public health interventions were identified and the owners were instructed to implement them as a precondition to reopening.

Environmental Health investigators plan to revisit the restaurant on Wednesday, November 22, 2017 prior to reopening to ensure all of the identified risk factors have been addressed and all public health interventions were implemented to prevent further Salmonella infections.