An outbreak of Salmonella enteritidis infection at a fast-food restaurant: Implications for foodhandler-associated transmission

Craig W. Hedberg, Karen E. White, Jill A. Johnson, Larry M. Edmonson, John T. Soler, Jack A. Korlath, Lynn S. Theurer, Kristine L. MacDonald, Michael T. Osterholm

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations

Abstract

An outbreak of Salmonella enteritidis infection occurred in patrons and employees of a fast-food restaurant. Transmission took place over a 9-day period. A single employee (employee A) was identified who had onset of gastrointestinal illness 1 day before the first reported patron exposures and had S. enteritidis isolated from stool. A case-control study of 37 ill and 20 healthy patrons who ate during shifts worked by employee A demonstrated that curly-fried potatoes and ice (odds ratio [OR], 6.8; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.5-33.7; P = .007), both food items handled bare-handed by employee A, were associated with illness. Employees who worked two or more shifts with employee A were more likely to be infected than those who did not work with employee A (OR, 4.4; CI, 1.0-19.5; P = .03). Foodhandlers who subsequently became infected apparently contaminated multiple food items with additional transmission to patrons. This outbreak illustrates the potential for foodhandlers in a fast-food restaurant setting who are infected with Salmonella to be a source of transmission.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1135-1140
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Volume164
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1991

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