Durham, N.C. – The Durham County Health Department (DCHD) has been conducting a foodborne outbreak investigation among persons who ate food prepared at Bullock’s Barbecue, located at 3330 Quebec Drive in Durham, since April 20, 2010. The N.C. State Public Health Laboratory has now confirmed that nine of the persons who were ill from this exposure had infection from Salmonella enteritidis.
Most of the sick individuals have had improvement from their symptoms. The exact source of the Salmonella has not yet been confirmed, but this serotype is commonly associated with eggs or food items containing eggs. The restaurant has cooperated with DCHD officials and conducted the proper disposal of potentially affected food items. No violations in the restaurant have been identified with respect to their food handling practices, facilities or employees.
A person infected with Salmonella enteritidis may develop fever, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea beginning 12 to 72 hours after consuming a contaminated food or beverage. The illness usually lasts four to seven days, and most person recover without antibiotic treatment. However, the diarrhea can be severe, and the elderly, infants, and those with impaired immune systems may develop a more severe illness requiring hospitalization.
In general, there are several things that are recommended to reduce the risk of getting Salmonella enteritidis infection:
· Keep eggs refrigerated.
· Discard cracked or dirty eggs.
· Wash hands and cooking utensils with soap and water after contact with raw eggs.
· Eat eggs promptly after cooking. Do not keep eggs warm for more than 2 hours.
· Refrigerate unused or leftover egg- containing foods.
· Avoid eating raw eggs (as in homemade ice cream or eggnog). Commercially manufactured ice cream and eggnog are made with pasteurized eggs and have not been linked with Salmonella enteritidis infections.
· Avoid restaurant dishes made with raw or undercooked, unpasteurized eggs. Restaurants should use pasteurized eggs in any recipe (such as Hollandaise sauce or caesar salad dressing) that calls for pooling of raw eggs.
For more information about this investigation contact Gayle Harris, health director for the Durham County Health Department, at 919-560-7600 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. A resident that experience an illness similar to the above description should contact their personal physician.