The Clark County Public Health Department is closing the On the Border Mexican restaurant in Vancouver, Washington after an outbreak of Salmonella among patrons. The restaurant is located at 1505 SE 164th Avenue. So far, there are 11 confirmed cases and 5 probable cases associated with this outbreak. Public health officials are asking that anyone who ate at the restaurant between September 20 and October 8, 2012 and experiencing symptoms of salmonellosis contact a health care provider.
The symptoms of Salmonella food poisoning include diarrhea, which may be bloody, fever, chills, abdominal cramps, and vomiting. People usually become ill one to three days after infection. Attorney Ryan Osterholm said, “facilities that sell food are supposed to ensure that their product is safe. Food contaminated with pathogenic bacteria is not fit to eat.”
Dr. Alan Melnick, Clark County Health officer said in a statement, “we closed the restaurant this morning as a further precaution to reduce the risk of Salmonella spreading to others. Our staff is interviewing employees and patrons to learn more about the possible source of this outbreak, such as a contaminated food source.”
Since Salmonella infections can spread person-to-person, government officials are stressing the need for thorough hand-washing after using the bathroom, and before and during food preparation. Anyone who is ill should stay home and not prepare food until their symptoms have disappeared.