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 Salmonella Enteritidis Infections Associated with a Restaurant in St. Paul, Minnesota

In January 2012 staff at the Minnesota Department of Health (MDA), the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) and the City of St. Paul investigated an outbreak of Salmonella Enteritidis that occurred among persons who attended a private event held at a St. Paul restaurant on January 12, 2012. A list of individuals who attended private events at the restaurant was requested from event organizers. MDH staff interviewed guests from private events held at the restaurant. Illness histories and exposure information were obtained from 71 restaurant patrons, including 26 from the January 12 event and 45 from an event held on January 21. Four confirmed cases and 3 probable cases were identified. The median incubation period was 3 days (range, 2 to 4 days). The median duration of illness was 7 days (range, 4 to 8 days) for 6 cases who had recovered at the time of interview. No one was hospitalized and no one died. The laboratory confirmed cases were all infected with strain SE1B173 (Minnesota designation) by PFGE analysis. This was the same strain isolated in patients in the fall of 2011. The source of that outbreak was determined to be organic eggs from a farm located in Owatonna, Minnesota. Foods for the January 12 event were served buffet style. Multiple food items were significantly associated with illness. The January 21 event was a plated meal in which guests had a limited choice of options for each of the courses. No food items were statistically associated with illness. Illness histories and job duty information were obtained from 31 employees. Two employees reported recent symptoms of gastrointestinal illness, with onset dates of January 14 and 20. Neither of the employees who reported illness worked on January 12 not did any of the food preparation for the January 12 event. Both employees reporting recent illness were negative for Salmonella. The restaurant used unpasteurized shell eggs in a variety of food items, including aioli, béarnaise sauce, and desserts. However, the only foods containing raw eggs served at the two events were a vanilla chiffon cake served on January 12 in which eggs were used in the Swiss merengue, and tiramisu served on January 21 were eggs were used in the mascarpone. No temperatures were taken to ensure that the desserts were fully cooked. the eggs were purchased from an organic farm in Owatonna, Minnesota. On February 8, MDA inspectors visited a farm that sell shell eggs under the Owatonna farm's brand name that was determined to be the most likely source of eggs to the restaurant. The team collected 15 environmental samples for testing. All were negative for Salmonella. Investigators concluded this was an outbreak of Salmonella associated with a restaurant. Consumption of desserts containing undercooked egg was associated with illness. As a result, the restaurant discontinued use of unpasteurized shell eggs in uncooked foods.

  • Outbreak began:
  • January 2012
  • Affected Country:
  • US
  • Affected States/Territories:
  • Minnesota
  • Organism(s):
  • Salmonella
  • Vehicle(s):
  • Eggs
  • Molecular Results Available:
  • Yes
  • Test Results:
  • SE1B173 (Minnesota designation)
  • Location(s):
  • Restaurant
  • Brand Name(s):
  • Owatonna
  • Product Subject to Recall:
  • No
  • Total ill:
  • 7
  • Number ill by Case Definition Known:
  • Yes
  • Number Laboratory Confirmed Cases:
  • 4
  • Number Probable Cases:
  • 3
  • Number Possible Cases:
  • 0
  • Anyone Hospitalized:
  • No
  • Number Hospitalized:
  • 0
  • Any Deaths:
  • No
  • Number Dead:
  • 0
  • Any References:
  • No

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