Published on:  By Linda Larsen

Date: January 20, 2017

The owner of Indelible Catering in Moulton, Alabama has surrendered his food service permit to the Department of Public Health. That facility prepared food for an event in Sheffield, Alabama on Saturday, November 12, 2016. At least 99 people were sickened with Salmonella enteritidis infections after attending that event. Twenty-two people were hospitalized because their illness was so severe.

The Alabama Department of Public Health issued an emergency order on November 16, 2016 to prevent Indelible Catering from preparing food while the outbreak was fineg investigated. Dr. Scott Harris, Assistant State Health Officer said, “the health department’s priority is the health of the public and preventing any additional foodborne illnesses. Make sure the caterer you hire for any event has a permit from the health department.”

ADPH conducted a standard investigation into this outbreak. They interviewed patients, obtained patient specimens, inspected the food source, and collected food samples for processing by the Alabama Department of Public Health’s laboratory.

People who were sickened in this outbreak experienced vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, and some fever. Those are symptoms of Salmonella food poisoning. The onset of symptoms also matched a Salmonella infections, about six to seventy-two hours after exposure to the bacteria.

Preliminary results found that the state laboratory found Salmonella enteriditis in the cooked chicken and green beans served at the event. And Dr. Karen Landers, Assistant State Health Officer at ADH said that chicken is “likely the primary source,” since that food is often contaminated with Salmonella bacteria.

To prevent Salmonella infections, follow food safety rules. Always cook chicken to a final internal temperature of 165°F. Cook eggs to a final internal temperature of 160°F. Avoid cross-contamination between raw meats, poultry, seafood, and eggs and foods that are eaten raw. Rinse fruits and vegetables with cool water before you serve them. And always wash your hands well with soap and water before preparing food and before eating.

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