On May 9, 2005, the Macomb County Health Department received reports of five recently diagnosed cases of Salmonella species in Macomb County residents. All five had sought care at area hospitals and three had been admitted for in-patient care.

Isolates obtained from culture of stool specimens obtained from case patients were sent to the Michigan Department of Community Health Public Health Laboratory where they were serotyped as Salmonella enteritidis.

The only common exposure among the five individuals was attendance at an after-concert reception held at the Macomb County Community College Performing Arts Center in Clinton Township. After-concert events had been held on two consecutive nights, April 28 and April 29, at the Arts Center. Twenty dessert items plus coffee, wine and champagne were served. The dessert items were provided by Fern Hill Golf and Country Club, Geloso’s Bakery and an independent Chocolate Fountaineer. MCHD obtained a list of menu items and interviewed employees and reception attendees.

Two critical violations were noted during the May 10th investigation. The bakery dishwasher did not have a detectable level of chlorine sanitizer and raw eggs were stored above milk and ready to eat foods in the bakery walk-in refrigerator.

Although the Macomb County Health Department was unable to identify how food items served and prepared at Fern Hill had become contaminated with Salmonella, the likely vehicle for the bacteria was identified as being eclairs on the outbreak report submitted to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.