May 2005

With the number of people reporting symptoms from the salmonella outbreak in Camden rising to 272 Friday, DHEC is faced with its largest food-borne illness investigation in recent state history.

State health officials will work over the weekend to determine the source of salmonella at the Old South Restaurant, according to Missy Reese, spokesperson for

Facing the largest food-borne illness investigation in recent history, the S.C. health department says it is "too early to say" whether the agency will look at how it inspects restaurants or issues public health advisories.

But Department of Health and Environmental Control spokesman Thom Berry said the state has fewer than 90 workers inspecting more

The state Department of Health and Environmental Control announced it has discontinued a special line established for the investigation of last week’s salmonella outbreak at a Camden restaurant. People with concerns or questions about the case are asked to call DHEC’s Kershaw County Public Health Department.

The outbreak led to the largest food-borne illness investigation

Nine years ago, that Upstate city was swept by a salmonella outbreak from contaminated eggs that sickened more than 200 people. Until this week, it was the worst outbreak of salmonella in South Carolina history.

That record has been broken now that 272 people have reported being sickened by salmonella after eating at the Old

The number of people made ill by the salmonella outbreak in Camden has risen to 287, the state Department of Health and Environmental Control reported:

– Fifty people have been hospitalized, no change from figures reported Friday.

– The agency has interviewed 511 people as part of its investigation.

– A phone bank set up

How inspectors traced origin of food poisoning
From a phone call Sunday to a surprise Tuesday, state officials scrambled to figure out what had gone wrong
By RODDIE BURRIS
Staff Writer
May 28, 2005
EDITOR’S NOTE: Through interviews with state and local health officials, The State’s Roddie Burris pieced together the first critical hours of the public health crisis that unfolded last week, starting in Camden.
CAMDEN — Emergency room director Tommy Norris saw the tip of the salmonella iceberg and knew what he was looking at.


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California Specialty Produce, Inc. of Vista, California is recalling Red Pear Tomatoes, because they have the potential of being contaminated with salmonella.

Red Pear Tomatoes were shipped to wholesalers who are restaurant suppliers in New York, California, and Colorado, in the cities of: Bronx, Yonkers, Los Angeles and Denver.

Red Pear Tomatoes are small

Like the outdoor temperature, the potential for foodborne illnesses rises with the Memorial Day weekend and the official kickoff of backyard barbecue season.

Potentially hazardous foods are abundant at most cookouts, from ground beef burgers and grilled or fried chicken to cut melons, all of which can support bacterial growth if precautions are not taken.

About 76 million cases of food-borne illness occur in the United States each year, and usually they only cause a couple of days’ distress. But as we’ve seen in South Carolina with the death of 58-yr-old James Arledge due to salmonella, the "bugs" that cause food poisoning can send people to the hospital —

Memorial Day weekend, with its cookouts, picnics and family outings, offers a perfect opportunity to contract food-borne illness.

The death of a South Carolina resident from salmonella Sunday serves as a reminder that improperly prepared food can make a person very sick and even be fatal. The South Carolina fatality has been linked to a