Until DNA fingerprinting came along coupled with networks like Pulsenet, most outbreaks of foodborne illness were detected through shared meals, like weddings or funerals, and then everyone showed up at the emergency clinic at the same time.
The Alabama Department of Public Health is investigating a foodborne outbreak that has affected at least 36 people who ate a meal at a funeral.
Around noon on July 6 people attending a funeral at Eastern Star Baptist Church in York, Ala. ate an undisclosed dish that made them sick. More than 100 people are reported to have attended this funeral.
Initial reports indicate that at least 30 have been hospitalized with some in serious condition. The ongoing investigation has involved hospitals in at least 9 states. These states currently include Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri and Oklahoma.
Preliminary tests at the Alabama Bureau of Clinical Laboratories are positive for salmonella, and additional tests are pending.