Foodborne Illness Outbreak Database

This database provides summaries of significant food and water related outbreaks occurring since 1984 caused by E. coli, Salmonella, Hepatitis A, Campylobacter and other pathogens. Read more »

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1996 Outbreak of Salmonella Stanley Linked to Consumption of Alfalfa Sprouts, Virginia

A physician who provided medical care at two Lexington, Virginia universities reported 14 laboratory confirmed cases of Salmonella Stanley among students at the two schools. The ten students at University A had eaten most of their meals at the university cafeteria. Alfalfa sprouts consumption appeared to be significant. The four students who attended University B had eaten at a local restaurant that routinely served sprouts. No interaction was known between the students at University A and B. The restaurant and University A had purchased the sprouts from the same local distributor. This distributor had purchased the sprouts from farms in Virginia and Ohio. Both farms had been using Australian seed since the spring of 1995 subsequent to an international outbreak of Salmonella stanley that occurred in 1995. Centers for Disease Control records showed that the Ohio and Virginia farms had received outbreak-associated seed lots. During this investigation, all available sprouts and seeds collected for testing showed no laboratory evidence of Salmonella. The Salmonella stanley isolated from the ill students matched the strain that had been implicated in the 1995 outbreak. Leftover seed seemed likely to be the cause of this outbreak. Salmonella is hardy and can survive on dry seed for extended periods of time.

  • Outbreak began:
  • February 1996
  • Affected Country:
  • US
  • Affected States/Territories:
  • Virginia
  • Organism(s):
  • Salmonella
  • Vehicle(s):
  • Vegetable, Sprouts, Alfalfa sprouts
  • Molecular Results Available:
  • Yes
  • Test Results:
  • Unknown
  • Location(s):
  • Restaurant, University cafeteria
  • Brand Name(s):
  • Product Subject to Recall:
  • No
  • Total ill:
  • 26
  • Number ill by Case Definition Known:
  • Yes
  • Number Laboratory Confirmed Cases:
  • 14
  • Number Probable Cases:
  • 12
  • Number Possible Cases:
  • 0
  • Anyone Hospitalized:
  • Yes
  • Number Hospitalized:
  • 9
  • Any Deaths:
  • Unknown
  • Number Dead:
  • Unknown
  • Any References:
  • Yes

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