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Louisiana Food Poisoning: Jambalaya Fundraiser Sickens 120

Image: Louisiana Food Poisoning: Jambalaya Fundraiser Sickens 120
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By    |   Monday, 23 October 2017 09:43 AM

In Louisiana, food poisoning in jambalaya at a fundraiser on Oct. 16 is being blamed for more than 120 becoming ill, the Louisiana Department of Health told CNN.

Health officials said Thursday that 49 cases of gastrointestinal illness had been confirmed in patients aged 15 to 70 years old with samples testing positive for salmonella, CNN reported.

The Monroe News Star reported that those numbers jumped Friday to 125 cases of gastrointestinal illnesses and 37 people hospitalized. Assistant state health officer Dr. Parham Jaberi told the newspaper that there was a second contributing bacteria, Clostridium perfringens, that also caused the illnesses.

"When we got the samples, we continued to test for toxins," Jaberi told the News Star. "These are organisms that, when they are ingested, they release a toxin that gets you sick. What that means is that people usually become sicker in fewer hours after eating foods."

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, salmonella causes an estimated 1 million foodborne illnesses in the United States annually, including 19,000 hospitalizations and 380 deaths.

Most people develop diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps 12 to 72 hours being infected with salmonella, the CDC said. The illness usually runs from four to seven days with some developing diarrhea serious enough to be hospitalized, the agency reported.

The CDC wrote that Clostridium perfringens is often found in beef, poultry, gravies, and dried or pre-cooked foods, and infection occurs when foods are prepared in large quantities and kept warm for a long time before serving.

The agency said Clostridium perfringens outbreaks often happen in institutions, such as hospitals, school cafeterias, prisons, and nursing homes, or at events with catered food.

"The fundraiser was supported by many local businesses throughout the community that purchased plates of jambalaya, which is the suspected cause," the Louisiana Department of Health said in a statement last week.

"The Louisiana Department of Health urges anyone who purchased food from the fundraiser to throw away any food that has not yet been consumed. This includes side items that may have come in contact with the jambalaya. … Health officials believe that at least 300 people were served the suspect jambalaya and are anticipating there will be more reports of illness in the next several days," the statement continued.

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In Louisiana, food poisoning in jambalaya at a fundraiser on Oct. 16 is being blamed for more than 120 becoming ill, the Louisiana Department of Health told CNN.
louisiana, food, poisoning, jambalaya
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2017-43-23
Monday, 23 October 2017 09:43 AM
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