lightning_strikeSeattle/King County Department of Public Health is investigating an outbreak of salmonellosis (caused by Salmonella bacteria) associated with a Good Vibe Tribe Luau held on 7/3/16 from 6:00-11:00 PM at Golden Gardens Park in Seattle. A number of different foods were eaten, and the cause has not been determined.

A total of 11 people that appear to have gotten sick at the luau event. Six cases have been confirmed with Salmonella, and five additional people who responded to the survey report eating at the event and later developing an illness consistent with salmonellosis, but did not get tested. None of them were hospitalized.

The pork served at the luau was supplied by Kapowsin Meats, and everyone who got sick after the luau had eaten the pork that was served there.  The genetic fingerprints of cases in this outbreak match the fingerprint of the Salmonella outbreak cases from last year when 192 people (30 hospitalized) in 5 states were sickened according to the CDC. However, there were many other foods served at the event. The Department of Public Health is still investigating food source and preparation procedures for all items to confirm which item might have made people ill.

Salmonellosis is a bacterial infection that is often spread through the fecal-oral route, through contaminated food and water, or through contact with animals and their environments. Symptoms of salmonellosis include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, fever, chills, and abdominal cramping. Illness typically lasts several days and people can spread infection to others even after symptoms resolve. To prevent Salmonella infection:

– Wash hands with soap and water after going to the bathroom, changing diapers, touching animals, and before eating or preparing food.

– Cook all meats thoroughly, especially poultry.

– Wash cutting boards and counters used for meat or poultry preparation immediately after use to avoid cross contaminating other foods.