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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2013 Diarrheal Illness Assocaited with a Restaurant, Bloomington, Minnesota

In March 2013 the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) investigated an outbreak of diarrheal illnesses among patrons of a restaurant located in Bloomington, Minnesota. The initial complainant reported symptoms of one episode of diarrhea, profuse perspiration and tremors 1 to 3 hours after a meal on March 22. She also reported that five other meal companions experienced similar symptoms. They had all consumed a Chilean sea bass. The complainant was unwilling to provide contact information for these individuals. Three days later MDH received a second report of illness in a restaurant patron who had also eaten Chilean sea bass at the restaurant on March 22. Illness histories and exposure information were obtained from 24 individuals with meal dates from March 20 to March 25. Five persons met the case definition. Four other individuals reported symptoms but did not meet the case definition. The City of Bloomington environmental specialists reviewed invoices and labels and confirmed that the fish served at the restaurant was Chilean sea bass. The Minnesota Department of Agriculture conducted an investigation at the fish distributor. The US Food and Drug Administration collected a fish sample for fish identity testing. Invoices from the fish distributor showed that the fish sold to the restaurant was Chilean sea bass. Two 6-oz. fillets collected from the restaurant on March 25 were tested by the FDA for fish identity. The fish tested was identified as Antarctic toothfish, a close relative of the Patagonia toothfish, also known as Chilean sea bass. The amount of fish saved by the restaurant was insufficient for marine toxin testing. Investigators concluded that the predominant clinical presentation of one stool within a few hours of consumption and no other significant symptoms is most consistent with an etiology of escolar toxin. Although records indicated that the fish served was Chilean sea bass, it is possible that a substitution of escolar occurred at the fishing vessel. However, this was not confirmed.

  • Outbreak began:
  • March 2013
  • Affected Country:
  • US
  • Affected States/Territories:
  • Minnesota
  • Organism(s):
  • Unknown
  • Vehicle(s):
  • fish
  • Molecular Results Available:
  • No
  • Test Results:
  • None
  • Location(s):
  • Restaurant
  • Brand Name(s):
  • Product Subject to Recall:
  • No
  • Total ill:
  • 5
  • Number ill by Case Definition Known:
  • Yes
  • Number Laboratory Confirmed Cases:
  • 0
  • Number Probable Cases:
  • 5
  • Number Possible Cases:
  • 0
  • Anyone Hospitalized:
  • No
  • Number Hospitalized:
  • 0
  • Any Deaths:
  • No
  • Number Dead:
  • 0
  • Any References:
  • No

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