Today the Rhode Island Department of Health announced that an additional eight cases of Salmonella poisoning have been linked to zeppole, eclairs, and bread made at DeFusco’s Bakery in Johnson, Rhode Island. Today’s additional eight victims brings the total to 33 cases linked to the outbreak, with 11 culture-confirmed by labratory testing.
As reported by Felice Freyer at the Providence Journal:
Annemarie Beardsworth, Health Department spokeswoman, said that these cases were people who went to their doctors or the emergency room, or who called the Health Department, reporting symptoms of salmonella infection — nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. All had eaten zeppole, éclairs or bread made at DeFusco’s, in Johnston, in the days before it was shut down on Friday.
Those people were asked to provide stool samples for testing at the state laboratory; none has yet been confirmed as salmonella. One victim lives out of state.
Monday’s reports bring to 33 the number of cases in the outbreak, with 11 laboratory-confirmed. But it is estimated that for every reported case of salmonella, nearly 40 people actually fall ill.
Seventeen people were sick enough to require hospitalization. Beardsworth said this unusually high rate of hospitalization results from the fact that many people who ate the pastry were elderly and less able to fight off the infection.
Beardsworth said that DeFusco’s Johnston facility had passed routine inspections in April and December of last year.
But when a nursing home outbreak brought inspectors to the facility on Friday, they found that the custard for the pastry was not properly chilled, pastry shells were stored in cardboard boxes where raw eggs had been, and a food safety manager was not on the premises as required, she said.
WPRI TV 12 in Providence also posted an excellent news report on the outbreak: