83 sickened: Long list of food safety failures identified at Adelaide InterContinental, source of Salmonella outbreak

Katrina Stokes of The Advertiser reports that documents released under the freedom of information act highlighted numerous potential problems with the Intercontinental’s cooking practices, which left 83 people ill with salmonella poisoning after eating at the Riverside restaurant on Sunday, July 31. These include the known safety risk of using the same whisk in both cooked and raw eggs.

scrambled-eggs_An Adelaide city council report, obtained by The Advertiser from Duncan Basheer Hannon, confirms the common link between the affected individuals was the consumption of scrambled eggs. Test results identified Salmonella Typhimurium.

An investigation led by the council in early august concluded a long list of “issues” with cooking processes at the hotel.

They included:

A whisk used throughout the (scrambled egg) cooking process from a raw egg mix to a cooked mix.

Scrambled eggs were continually topped up and not fully replaced between the hours of 6.30am and 9.15am.

Serving spoons were replaced only when deemed necessary, posing a potential risk for cross-contamination.

The stick blender used to mix raw eggs was inadequately sanitised.

The nightshift chef responsible for preparing the raw-egg mix did not adequately understand correct cleaning and sanitising processes.

Scrambled egg reheat temperatures were not recorded on July 31 and there was no thermometer to record temperatures because it was “lost three months ago.”

A plastic container storing raw egg slurry had a damaged lid and rough internal surfaces, which were identified as difficult to clean and sanitise.

Intercontinental Adelaide general manager Colin McCandless said the report was a “hypothesis.”

Mr McCandless said the hotel had produced a score of “100 per cent” in a recent external audit of food safety procedures.

Audits often mean little.

That’s the same McCandless who in early Augest said it was ‘absolutely safe’ to eat at the hotel.

The hotel’s $37 full breakfast buffet at the Riverside restaurant includes scrambled eggs.


38 sick: Adelaide man with donor kidney gets Salmonella from InterContinental Adelaide buffet

Katrina Stokes of The Advertiser reports it was meant to be a 60th birthday celebration but instead Jackalyn Hirniak and her husband — who has a donor kidney — were both struck down with Salmonella poisoning after eating at the InterContinental Adelaide.

hirniak.salm.kidneyHarry Hirniak, 55, of Mount Compass, spent a week at the Flinders Medical Centre’s renal unit, where he was closely monitored by doctors for fear he would need to go back on dialysis or worse — lose his only working kidney.

The couple are two of at least 38 related salmonella cases, including 15 hospitalisations, as a result of an unknown source at the luxury hotel’s popular buffet breakfast on Sunday, July 31.

Mrs Hirniak, 60, told The Advertiser the pair fell severely ill between Sunday night and Monday morning after eating the breakfast spread.

“It didn’t do me in as much as it did Harry,” she said.

Mr Hirniak lives with one working donor kidney and had been doing “tremendously well” health-wise after he had a transplant 15 years ago.

Soon after the meal, Mrs Hirniak said they both endured “constant vomiting and diarrhoea at the same time, aches and pains and violent headaches”.

“On the Tuesday night, I said to Harry ‘you need to go to hospital’,” she said.

“It was more the dehydration that was causing the problem — his levels of toxins in his kidneys was rising,” Mrs Hirniak said.

“He was constantly on a drip and they (doctors) put him on a very strong dose of antibiotics.”

Mrs Hirniak said the end result could have been far worse.

InterContinental Adelaide general manager Colin McCandless said the hotel was following protocol and the “wellbeing of our guests is our highest priority.

“We’ve maintained close contact with any guests who have proactively advised us they are not feeling well.

“Guests who have proactively reached out to us, we have remained in very, very close contact.”

What protocol? Release the menu served at the buffet. Any raw eggs in those dips?

Australia has an egg problem: Adelaide Hotel InterContinental edition

There are so many egg/salmonella/Australia stories in the past few years that I spent 20 min googling to see if this was a repeat.

It’s not.

According to the Daily Mail over 40 salmonellosis cases, including 9 hospitalizations have been linked to InterContinental Adelaide.raw.eggs_

A mother of three said her and her husband started showing the telltale signs of food poisoning two days after eating the contaminated food. According to the woman, Adelaide City Council and InterContinental suspect the cause to be eggs.

A South Australian Health spokesperson said authorities were ‘aware of a localised case of food poisoning in a city hotel’.
it is understood that up to 45 could have contracted the disease, but the exact number remains unconfirmed as the hotel chain and SA Health investigate the cause of the outbreak.

‘The issue I have is they (the hotel and the council) know there are 400 people out there potentially infected with salmonella and they’re not actively notifying them,’ the mother told the newspaper.

But InterContinental Adelaide general manager Colin McCandless said it was ‘absolutely safe’ to eat at the hotel.

Saying absolutely safe means absolutely nothing. Especially to the nine who were hospitalized.

A selection of egg-related outbreaks in Australia can be found here.