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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2005 Outbreak of Staphyloccocus Aureus at a Catered Workplace Meal, Kansas

A physician reported a cluster of acute gastroenteritis to the Kansas State Health Department. An investigation was initiated. Epidemiologists learned that the company all the case-patients worked for had provided a catered meal for three shifts of workers. The licensed caterer prepared and delivered all the meal that contained beef brisket, smoked sausage, barbecue beans, potato salad, bread, peach cobbler, iced tea, soda, and pre-packed condiments. All shifts received the same meal, but only Shift 3 workers reported illness. A cohort study of Shift 3 workers identified the consumption of the smoked sausage as a significant risk factor for illness. The Risk ratio was 3.2, and was statistically significant. The catering company was inspected and sanitarians found that the sausage was kept in hot holding units for around nine hours on the day of the event, but temperature was not monitored during this time. Stool samples from case-patients tested positive for Staphylococcus aureus, and pulse-field gel electrophoresis matched the DNA of the bacteria to each other. The bacteria was not found in left-over sausage.

  • Outbreak began:
  • December 2005
  • Affected Country:
  • US
  • Affected States/Territories:
  • Kansas
  • Organism(s):
  • Staphylococcus aureus
  • Vehicle(s):
  • Sausage and Luncheon Meat, Pork, Smoked
  • Molecular Results Available:
  • No
  • Test Results:
  • None
  • Location(s):
  • Work
  • Brand Name(s):
  • Product Subject to Recall:
  • No
  • Total ill:
  • 138
  • Number ill by Case Definition Known:
  • Unknown
  • Number Laboratory Confirmed Cases:
  • N/A
  • Number Probable Cases:
  • N/A
  • Number Possible Cases:
  • N/A
  • Anyone Hospitalized:
  • Yes
  • Number Hospitalized:
  • 19
  • Any Deaths:
  • No
  • Number Dead:
  • 0
  • Any References:
  • Yes

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