On the Border will be named in the first lawsuit filed in the Vancouver Salmonella outbreak that has now sickened an estimated 88 people.  23 of those sickened have been confirmed as Salmonella Virchow, and the rest are considered probable cases.

Clark County health officials continue in their investigation of the outbreak.  Here are a few thoughts.  From the publicly available evidence, it is unlikely that this outbreak is a small arm of a larger outbreak linked to produce.  This is a point source outbreak, meaning that people are getting ill from one restaurant location.  Further, as of today, there don’t seem to be any other clusters of illness being eyed as related to this Salmonella Virchow outbreak.

More likely, based on the evidence, is that this large outbreak results from an ill food-handler.  88 people is a lot of victims, and this means that contamination at the restaurant had to be widespread–or persistent over a period of time.  With the caveat that this is a Mexican restaurant outbreak–which are notoriously difficult for identifying one food item due to the fact that many items are common to multiple menu selections–it is likely that the bacterial contamination was widespread because there were contaminated hand(s) handling multiple menu items–not that only one food item was contaminated.

Clark County will ultimately tell us whether this is right or wrong.  Now what we know is that this is a major outbreak.