Los Dos Amigos, a mexican restaurant in Roseburg, Oregon, was the site of a large salmonella outbreak in April. Douglas County health officials report that at least 30 people suffered culture-confirmed salmonella foodpoisoning illnesses, and that cross-contamination was probably a cause of the outbreak.
Los Dos Amigos recently issued a public apology to the victims of the outbreak, which is a measure that we see taken far too infrequently in situations like this. For that step, the restaurant should certainly be applauded.
What is, or may ultimately be, striking about the Los Dos Amigos salmonella outbreak is its potential size. 30 confirmed salmonella illnesses means that many more were sickened but, for any of many different reasons, did not have a stool sample test positive for Salmonella bacteria.
One leading study suggests that, in any foodpoisoning outbreak, the number of people who are actually ill is 10, 20, even 30 times the number of "confirmed cases." The Los Dos Amigos outbreak likely is no exception, and Douglas County’s conclusion that cross-contamination was a factor in the outbreak means that contamination may have truly proliferated at the restaurant. Many more people that the 30 reported cases were certainly sickened in this large outbreak.