Reading Salmonella outbreak traced to fruit

The Salmonella outbreak which struck the Reading Summer Festival Days the weekend of July 31 was part of an eight-state outbreak from contaminated berries or melons, according to health officer Steve Todd of the Branch-Hillsdale-St. Joseph Counties Community Health Agency (CHA).

cantaloupe.salmonellaTodd said the outbreak now has 12 lab-confirmed cases of the foodborne intestinal disease including “several additional secondary cases that appear to be either family members or otherwise related to a person that was ill.”

Interviews with those who have had contact with people infected during the event continues “to prevent an outbreak from getting into food service establishments, daycares, or healthcare settings,” Todd said.

41 sickened with Salmonella at Michigan festival

Reading Summer Festival Days lasted from July 31 to Aug. 3, but the outbreak came from one event.

Reading Summer Festival Days“There were eight laboratory-confirmed cases and 33 probable cases” among the more than 250 people who attended an alumni reunion dinner Aug. 2, CHA health officer Steve Todd said. After being notified of the illnesses on Aug. 11 Todd put his department to work to contact attendees.

The community invited back all those who had attended Reading schools from across the state and country. Two members of the class of 1942 were present.

About 150 were found and interviewed by phone. “Several of the individuals either had been seen by a doctors or were hospitalized,” Todd said.

Many were in their 70s.

Because notification came nine days after the event there was little food to test.