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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2012 Outbreak of Clostridium perfringens Associated with a Restaurant Located in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota

In February 2012 staff at the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and the Hennepin County Human Services and Public Health Department (HSPHD) investigated an outbreak of Clostridium perfringens that occurred among patrons of a Brooklyn Center restaurant. Ill patrons resided in different households. The meal date was February 6, 2012. A list of names from credit card receipts was obtained from the restaurant. Investigators made numerous attempts to contact patrons listed on the receipts but none responded. The two original complainants were interviewed by HSPHD epidemiologists. Both cases reported cramps and diarrhea. Incubation periods were 11 and 14 hours, respectively. Both cases were still experiencing symptoms at time of interview (12 and 15 hours after their respective illness onset). A stool specimen collected from one case tested positive for Clostridium perfringens enterotoxin. The cases reported consuming West African foods from a buffet. However, neither case was familiar with this cuisine, so recall of specific food items was minimal. The lack of non-ill controls prevented a statistical analysis of specific food items. HSPHD sanitarians noted several critical violations when conducting an inspection of the restaurant. Violations included having an unapproved buffet; having food items from an unlicensed meat processor; improper cooling, cold/hot holding, and heating of buffet food items; and cooking temperatures not known or recorded. Sanitarians noted large containers of rice, meat, and other potentially hazardous foods that were unlikely to be cooled in the required amount of time. The vehicle of transmission was not identified. Investigators concluded the outbreak was most likely caused by improper cooling procedures and improper hot-and-cold holding temperatures, which created an environment for Clostridium perfringens to proliferate.

  • Outbreak began:
  • February 2012
  • Affected Country:
  • US
  • Affected States/Territories:
  • Minnesota
  • Organism(s):
  • Clostridium perfringens
  • Vehicle(s):
  • Unknown
  • Molecular Results Available:
  • No
  • Test Results:
  • None
  • Location(s):
  • Restaurant
  • Brand Name(s):
  • Product Subject to Recall:
  • No
  • Total ill:
  • 2
  • Number ill by Case Definition Known:
  • Yes
  • Number Laboratory Confirmed Cases:
  • 1
  • Number Probable Cases:
  • 1
  • Number Possible Cases:
  • 0
  • Anyone Hospitalized:
  • No
  • Number Hospitalized:
  • 0
  • Any Deaths:
  • No
  • Number Dead:
  • 0
  • Any References:
  • No

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