Cross contamination likely source of Sumter County salmonella outbreak

Published 11:03 am Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Cross contamination during meal preparation likely proved to be the cause of a salmonella outbreak in Sumter County.

At least 67 people became sick after eating following a funeral at Eastern Star Baptist Church in York.

Five people are confirmed to have salmonella by the Alabama Bureau of Clinical Laboratories. Additional samples are being tested at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Email newsletter signup

Preliminary findings suggest the illness was caused by cross contamination while preparing the meal.

As of Friday, several people were still in the hospital, some in serious condition. The outbreak has resulted in hospitalizations in at least 10 states.

Public Health’s investigation started after a report from a local hospital that several people had been seeking emergency room care with symptoms of fever, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting.

Salmonella is commonly found in raw and undercooked meats and eggs. There are things that can be done to reduce your risk of becoming ill.

The Alabama Department of Public Health shares the following tips:

•Do not eat or drink foods containing raw eggs or raw (unpasteurized) milk.

•Do not eat undercooked meats, chicken or eggs.

•Wash hands, work surfaces and items with soap and water immediately after diaper changes or contact with raw meat or chicken.

•Use a bleach 1:10 solution to disinfect surfaces.

•Do not use the same cutting boards/surfaces for fruits and vegetables as used for raw meats.

•Do not work with raw chicken or meat, and an infant (e.g., feed, change diaper) at the same time.