The Central District Health Department announced Tuesday that it continues to receive a number of calls from the public with question about what it called "the ongoing Salmonella outbreak," in the wake of the confirmation that Salmonella had been traced to the delicatessen at the Boise Co-Op.
Following the confirmation of at least 30 cases of Salmonella, some linked to the Boise Co-Op, the popular Boise grocery store announced June 15 that it would voluntarily close its deli until further notice and urged the public to throw away any items purchased at the deli since June 1.
CDHD has since established a Salmonella information line - 208-321-2222 and says that the public can also find out more information or report a foodborne illness at cdhd.idaho.gov.
The information line will be available during business hours.
UPDATE: June 15, 2015
The Boise Co-Op has voluntarily closed its deli in the wake of confirmed reports of Salmonella linked to the popular Boise grocery store's delicatessen.
"These cases have now been confirmed as linked to food prepared in our deli," wrote the Co-Op Monday on its website. "As an added precaution, any foods purchased from our Deli after June 1, 2015 should be discarded."
Co-Op officials wrote, "We deeply regret any illnesses resulting from this outbreak."
Meanwhile, an Idaho couple filed a lawsuit Monday against the Boise Co-Op, alleging that the wife contracted Salmonella from eating a tuna sandwich from the Co-Op deli.
In the suit, filed June 15 by attorney Robie Russell, from Marler Clark LLP, a Seattle-based food safety law firm, the plaintiffs say Randy Fisher bought a tuna salad sandwich from the deli June 5 and his wife, Judy Fisher consumed the sandwich. The next morning, she began experiencing extreme chills, intense nausea and repeated bouts of diarrhea, according to the suit. Judy Fisher ultimately received medical attention at St. Luke's Hospital on June 10 and June 12. Hospital officials told the Fisher's that a stool sample from Judy Fisher had tested positive for Salmonella and she was interviewed by officials from the Central District Health Department. The CDHD said June 13 that approximately 30 individuals had reportedly contracted Salmonella.
In the lawsuit, the Fisher's allege that the Co-Op "had a duty to comply with all applicable state and federal regulations intended to ensure the purity and safety of its food product" and "failed to comply with the provisions of the Idaho Food Code."
The Fishers are seeking damages to include reimbursement for medical bills, out-of-pocket costs, lost wages and lost earning capacity, in addition to "emotional distress, anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, and pain and suffering, reduced life expectancy and all other ordinary, incidental and consequential damages."
ORIGINAL STORY: June 13, 2015
The Central District Health Department sent out a statement this morning that it is investigating nearly 30 separate cases of Salmonella, some of which may be linked to the Boise Co-op. CDHD stated there were additional cases not associated with the Boise food establishment but only named the Co-op in its announcement.
"The CDHD is working closely with the Boise Co-op to identify how Salmonella may have entered a food source," read the statement from CDHD's Boise office. "Multiple food samples have been sent to the state public health laboratory for testing, and results are pending."
Health officials remind the public that symptoms from Salmonella infection—which can include diarrhea, fever, abdominal cramps and vomiting—begin 12-72 hours after consuming contaminated food. Commonly infected foods are raw meat, poultry, seafood, raw eggs, fruits or vegetables.
The CDHD provided some tips to prevent Salmonella infection:
- Cook poultry, ground beef and eggs thoroughly. Do not eat or drink foods containing raw eggs or raw, unpasteurized milk.
- Wash hands, kitchen work surfaces and utensils with soap and water immediately after they have been in contact with raw meat or poultry.
- Be particularly careful with foods prepared for infants and the elderly.
- Wash hands with soap after handling reptiles, birds or baby chicks and after contact with pet feces.
- Avoid direct or even indirect contact between reptiles (turtles, iguanas, other lizards, snakes) and infants.
- Don't work with raw poultry or meat and have contact with an infant (e.g., feed, change a diaper) at the same time.
More information on Salmonella is available at cdc.gov/salmonella.