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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1998 Outbreak of Shigellosis Linked to Consumption of Fresh Parsley, Minnesota

In August, the Minnesota Department of Health identified two restaurant associated outbreaks of Shigella sonnei that had a similar genetic fingerprint. Uncooked, curly parsley appeared to be the common vehicle for these outbreaks. Additional outbreaks involving parsley were subseqently discovered in the USA and Canada. A traceback was conducted. A farm in Baja California and farms in California were possible sources of the parsley. A field investigation of the Baja California farm found that the municipal water that had supplied the packing shed was unchlorinated and vulnerable to contamination The water was used to chill parsley and for making the ice that was used in transport. Farm workers and village residents did not drink the municipal water. Three quarters of the foodhandlers at the restaurants that served the parsley reported washing the parsley before chopping it. Usually parsley was chopped in the morning and left at room temperature until it was served to customers.

  • Outbreak began:
  • July 1998
  • Affected Country:
  • International
  • Affected States/Territories:
  • California, Minnesota
  • Organism(s):
  • Shigella
  • Vehicle(s):
  • Herbs and Spices, Fresh Parsley
  • Molecular Results Available:
  • Yes
  • Test Results:
  • Unknown
  • Location(s):
  • Fair
  • Brand Name(s):
  • Product Subject to Recall:
  • No
  • Total ill:
  • 479
  • Number ill by Case Definition Known:
  • Yes
  • Number Laboratory Confirmed Cases:
  • 87
  • Number Probable Cases:
  • 392
  • Number Possible Cases:
  • 0
  • Anyone Hospitalized:
  • Unknown
  • Number Hospitalized:
  • Unknown
  • Any Deaths:
  • Unknown
  • Number Dead:
  • Unknown

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