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Salmonella Outbreak Sickens 11 at Pennsylvania Restaurant

Jan 8, 2008 | Parker Waichman LLP A Salmonella outbreak originating in a Lancaster County, Pennsylvania restaurant has sickened 11 people.  So far, investigators in Pennsylvania have not been able to trace the source of the Salmonella contamination that sickened some Holiday party attendees at the Mazzi Restaurant in Leola.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Salmonella bacteria sicken 40,000 people every year. Although the true number could be much higher, because it is estimated that for every case of Salmonella poisoning reported, two others are unreported.  Salmonella causes fever, abdominal pain, nausea, gas and bloody diarrhea. Symptoms appear within 36 hours of exposure, and usually last four to seven days. In very severe cases, Salmonella can lead to kidney failure and other complications. Salmonella can be particularly dangerous for children, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems. In rare cases, Salmonella can cause a disease called Reiter’s Syndrome, a difficult- to- treat condition that causes severe joint pain, irritation of the eyes, and painful urination.

All told, 11 people are known to have come down with Salmonella, most of whom attended a private Holiday party at Mazzi on December 10.   In addition to the 11 laboratory-confirmed Salmonella cases, another 39 Mazzi diners have  presented  symptoms, the Lancaster Times has reported.   A total of 50 people attended the December 10th party, but some sickened diners attended other parties at Mazzi that where held around the same time.

Restaurant outbreaks of Salmonella poisoning are not rare. Last year, raw tomatoes served at restaurants around the country sickened dozens. And this summer over 700 people in the Chicago area became ill from Salmonella after they ate at the Pars Cove Restaurant food booth at the Taste of Chicago Food Festival. Last month, a Quiznos restaurant in Minnesota was implicated in a Salmonella outbreak that sickened at least10 people.

But restaurants are not the only sources of Salmonella outbreaks, as commercially prepared foods have also sickened people.  Other Salmonella outbreaks this year have also been linked to Peter Pan and Great Value Peanut Butter, and to Banquet Pot Pies, all of which were made by ConAgra Foods.  In the past few weeks, Green Paradise Basil and Safeway Ground Beef have been recalled for Salmonella contamination.  

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