Public health links Salmonella illnesses to Washington Costco deli

The Patch writes that a bunch of Salmonella illnesses have been linked to eating food from a Costco deli in Issaquah, Washington.

The Patch reports that King County health officials released a bulletin today stating,

Since August 28, 2017, we have learned of seven King County residents who tested positive for Salmonella I,4,[5], 12:i:- infections. DNA fingerprinting was performed on the Salmonella bacteria from the seven people who got sick and was identical for all cases, suggesting a common source of infection. Illness onsets occurred sporadically during August 28, 2017–July 13, 2018, and a common epidemiological link among all cases was not established until August 2018; no single food item prepared by the service deli has been identified as the source of the illnesses.

Salmonella is crazy hardy. Sticking around in a deli location for a year, is notable though. Niches in equipment, floors, utensils could be good harborage spots. Someone sent me an outbreak report a while ago about a restaurant that had a really long Salmonella outbreak linked to drains and the environment (I think, I can’t find the post though).

Also notable is that in 2016 another Washington State Costco was also the source of Salmonella I,4,[5], 12:i:- . That incident was linked to four cases and attributed to rotisserie chicken salad.

This entry was posted in E. coli, Salmonella and tagged , , by Ben Chapman. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ben Chapman

Dr. Ben Chapman is a professor and food safety extension specialist at North Carolina State University. As a teenager, a Saturday afternoon viewing of the classic cable movie, Outbreak, sparked his interest in pathogens and public health. With the goal of less foodborne illness, his group designs, implements, and evaluates food safety strategies, messages, and media from farm-to-fork. Through reality-based research, Chapman investigates behaviors and creates interventions aimed at amateur and professional food handlers, managers, and organizational decision-makers; the gate keepers of safe food. Ben co-hosts a biweekly podcast called Food Safety Talk and tries to further engage folks online through Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and, maybe not surprisingly, Pinterest. Follow on Twitter @benjaminchapman.