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WA: Shigella associated with Eric Gorbman Catering in Seattle

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  • WA: Shigella associated with Eric Gorbman Catering in Seattle

    Source: https://www.kingcounty.gov/depts/hea...-mar-2018.aspx

    Shigella associated with Eric Gorbman Catering in Seattle
    Updated March 10, 2018

    Summary

    Public Health is investigating an outbreak of Shigella infection (also known as "shigellosis") associated with events at Temple Beth Am and Temple Beth Shalom in Seattle. Both events were catered by Eric Gorbman Catering with additional food items brought potluck style by attendees.

    If you or someone in your family attended an event at Temple Beth Am or at Temple Beth Shalom in Seattle on March 3, 2018, please take a few minutes to complete this survey even if you did not get ill. Comparing food histories between those who became ill and those who did not can help us determine what might have caused illness and prevent others from becoming sick.

    If you are currently ill with symptoms such as diarrhea (bloody or non-bloody), fever, and abdominal pain, please contact your health care provider to discuss testing and treatment options. Submitting a stool sample can help confirm if you have shigellosis.

    Ill persons with suspected shigellosis should not work in food handling, patient care, or childcare settings, and ill children with suspected shigellosis should not attend daycare until they have seen a healthcare provider and been tested for Shigella infection, even if their illness is mild. Persons with Shigella infection who work in or attend these sensitive settings must be cleared by Public Health before returning.
    Illnesses

    Since March 6, Public Health has learned of at least 15 people that became ill with gastroenteritis after consuming food and beverages from the events in Seattle on March 3. One ill attendee is hospitalized.

    Additionally, we have determined that at least 2 catering employees have also reported similar illness following the event, but these employees did not report being ill while working at the event so it is likely that they were exposed at the event rather than the source of the outbreak.

    Public Health actions

    Public Health Communicable Disease investigators are interviewing event attendees about the foods they ate and symptoms they experienced. In addition, we are working with the Washington State Department of Health to collect this information from event attendees who we are unable to interview with an online survey. Comparing food histories from event attendees who became ill and those who did not could help us determine what might have caused illness and prevent others from becoming sick. Investigators are also interviewing catering staff.

    Our Environmental Health team is meeting with the caterer to collect information about the food prepared at the event and food safety practices.

    We have reached out to the venues where the private events were held to advise them on deep cleaning procedures.

    The exact food or drink item that caused the illnesses has not been identified. We may never know what caused the illness because the bacteria spreads easily and multiple food items may have been contaminated...
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