Did one state with its act together on food poisoning cases crack the Salmonella Saintpaul outbreak when all the expertise of the federal government ended up looking like the keystone cops? The Minneapolis Star-Tribune in a story published on its website tonight, says the answer to that question would be: "Yah, sure! You betcha!"
In ‘Team Diarrhea’ called in to crack salmonella case, Star Tribune health reporters Josephine Marcotty and Maura Lerner, write:
In less than two weeks, Minnesota Department of Health investigators traced the source of a mysterious salmonella outbreak that had stumped federal health officials for two months and sickened more than 1,200 people in 43 states and Canada.
And in explaining how it all happened, they report:
A gee-whiz state lab, investigators dubbed "Team Diarrhea" and a unique approach to sleuthing illness contributed to the breakthrough.
The job the Gopher State did brought this comment:
What happened in Minnesota should be the norm," said Mike Osterholm, University of Minnesota foodborne illness expert and an adviser to state and federal health agencies. "They did it quickly and they did it effectively and they were able to trace back what nobody else was able to trace back."
As for how it happened, read the story. Everybody who has been involved in this long Salmonella Saintpaul saga will be doing the same.