Environmental health officers from the Environmental Health Branch undertook an investigation and collected water and environmental samples. We interviewed 65 (97%) of the 67 people who attended the camp. There were 60 students and 7 adults. Of the 65 people interviewed, 30 became ill (attack rate 46%); all were students; and 4 had laboratory confirmed S. Saintpaul infection. The most commonly reported symptoms were diarrhoea (100% 30/30), abdominal pain (93% 28/30), nausea (93% 28/30) and fever (70% 21/30). Thirteen people sought medical attention but none required hospitalisation. Illness was significantly associated with drinking cordial at lunch on 7 August (RR 3.8, 95% CI 1.3-11, P < 0.01), as well as drinking cordial at lunch on 8 August (RR 2.1, 95% CI 1.1-4.2, P=0.01). Salmonella spp. was not detected in water samples or wallaby faeces collected from the camp ground.
The epidemiological investigation suggests the outbreak was caused by environmental contamination of food or drink and could have occurred during ice preparation or storage, preparation of the cordial or from inadequate sanitising of the cooler from which the cordial was served. This outbreak highlights the risks of food or drink contamination with environmental Salmonella. Those preparing food and drink in campground settings should be vigilant with cleaning, handwashing and disinfection to prevent outbreaks of foodborne disease.
An outbreak of Salmonella Saintpaul gastroenteritis after attending a school camp in the Northern Territory, Australia
Commun Dis Intell Q Rep 2017 Mar 31;41(1):E10-E15. Epub 2017 Mar 31. Anthony Dk Draper, Claire N Morton, Joshua Ni Heath, Justin A Lim
Over 4000 illnesses linked to bottled water in Spain and there are a few theories how the virus got into the hundreds of coolers and fridges across the country. Maybe someone puked in the bottling plant, spreading virus particles all over. My money goes on the source.
Whatever the cause, it’s likely little comfort to those who were barfing as a result.
Live Science reports that the thousands of ill folks consumed water cooler water in early April.
It’s possible that norovirus contaminated the water at its source where it was bottled, said Benjamin Chapman, an associate professor and food safety specialist at North Carolina State University, who was not involved in the investigation. In this case, the spring water was bottled in Andorra, a small country located in the Pyrenees mountains between Spain and France.
Norovirus is spread through fecal matter, and in past outbreaks, drinking water became contaminated when sewage leaked into the water source, Chapman said. Given that the recent outbreak in Spain was so large, with hundreds of bottles affected, “it’s more likely that it would be source contamination,” as opposed to contamination at some later point in the bottling process, Chapman said.
Still, it’s also possible that the water was contaminated at the manufacturing facility. Norovirus is a very hardy virus, Chapman said, and if someone with the illness vomited at a bottling facility, this could contaminate equipment used for bottling the water, Chapman said.
The Gwinnett County health inspector said a line drawer cooler across from the grill had a temperature of 48.9 degrees, and the cooler under the grill measured 54 degrees. A Mimi’s manager had already notified the corporate office about the coolers.
The restaurant staff had to toss out several food products such as tuna, sausage, cheese, ham, salmon, lettuce, chicken, meatloaf and au jus for the French dip beef sandwiches.
The inspector also noted built-in thermometers in the line coolers were not working, and no other thermometers were placed inside the coolers to measure air temperature.
An employee cracked eggs into a pan then handled peppers and onions inside a cooler without changing gloves and washing hands.
Food was stored under a condensation leak in the freezer, and boxes and plastic containers had ice buildup. The open food packages were discarded.