Eleven people who attended a July 3 event in Seattle and ate pork provided by Kapowsin Meats became sick and health officials say they have laboratory evidence linking them to a Salmonella outbreak in 2015 that sickened almost 200 people and was traced to pork from Kapowsin Meats.
“We know that the pork served at the luau was supplied by Kapowsin Meats, and we know that everyone who got sick after the luau had eaten the pork that was served there. We also know that the genetic fingerprints of cases in this outbreak match the fingerprint of the Salmonella outbreak cases from last year,” according to a Tuesday afternoon update from Public Health of Seattle and King County.
The five-month, five state outbreak in 2015 sickened 192 people, with 30 having symptoms so severe they required hospitalization, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In August 2015 Kapowsin Meats of Graham, WA, recalled more than 115,000 pounds of whole hogs in connection with the outbreak of Salmonella I 4, ,12:i:-and Salmonella Infantis.
The current outbreak is among attendees of the July 3 Good Vibe Tribe Luau. As of Tuesday, six people had been confirmed with Salmonella infections. Five others had symptoms consistent with Salmonella infection but were not tested, according to public health officials. All reported eating pork at the event, however no foods have been ruled out as possible sources.
“If you or a family member attended this event, even if you did not get ill, please take a few minutes to complete (this) survey. 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,” public health officials said in an investigation summary posted Monday.
“The typical incubation period (the) time between exposure to the bacteria and symptom onset for Salmonella is one to five days, so if you attended the event and have not yet developed symptoms, it is unlikely you will become ill.”
Public Health of Seattle & King County reported food for the event was catered by Mojito, 7545 Lake City Way NE. Inspectors from the department checked the facility July 13 and inquired about food sources and preparation methods.
“Understanding where food came from and how it was prepared allows health officials to determine how food might have made people ill and, if necessary, to trace back to the food’s point of origin if specific food items are suspected,” according to the outbreak investigation summary.
Good Vibe Tribe is a “non-profit organization that utilizes our social reach by creating unique events that bring people together to produce positive change,” according to the group’s Facebook page. According to the page, 2,900 people were invited to the July 3 event at Golden Gardens Park.
Public health officials reported receiving initial Salmonella case reports for the current outbreak on July 11, 12 and 15.
Salmonella infection is often spread through the fecal-oral route, through contaminated food and water, or through contact with animals and their environments, according to public health officials. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea that is often bloody, headache, fever, chills and abdominal cramping. Illness typically lasts several days and people can spread infection to others even after symptoms resolve.
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