October 23, 2018

Foods Consumed by Patients Sickened in Salmonella Firefly Outbreak

People from twenty states and two foreign countries are ill in the Salmonella outbreak linked to Firefly restaurant in Las Vegas, Nevada. The patients live in Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, and Washington state. People from Canada and England are also sick.

Salmonella BacteriaThe serotype of this particular Salmonella bacteria is called “I:4,5,12:i:-“. That means it doesn’t have a name assigned to it, such as Salmonella Saintpaul, found in imported cucumbers this year, or Salmonella Typhimurium, found in unpasteurized Mexican-style cheese last month in Minnesota.

The Southern Nevada Health District has been investigating this outbreak from the first report of illness. They have released two reports and they are very detailed. The report released May 10, 2013 has a list of foods public health officials have investigated for the possible cause of the outbreak. Not only did investigators culture foods for the bacteria, but they also asked the patients which food they ate to try to finger the culprit. In addition, foods that can be contaminated with Salmonella bacteria were sent to labs.

Samples of these foods were sent to the Nevada State Public Health Laboratory on or before May 9, 2013: Tetilla (a type of cheese), Calamari, Chorizo, cooked rice, garlic cream sauce, macaroni and cheese, mussel sauce, stuffed mushrooms, White Sangria, and Thai Beef Salad.. Since the restaurant had violations of improperly cooling potentially hazardous foods, improper holding temperatures of potentially hazardous foods, and improper food storage, these foods are suspect.

The foods ill individuals ate are interesting. In true Vegas tradition (this is also a good statistical practice), investigators put odds on whether or not a certain food or drink may have caused the outbreak, with a 95% confidence interval. Those foods included White Sangria, Thai Beef Salad, Crispy Duck Roll, Petite Filet, Manchego Cheese, Fried Calamari, Firefly Fries, Manchego Mac N Cheese, and Chicken and Chorizo Stuffed Mushrooms. We’ll keep you informed about the outbreak investigation as it continues. Many lab results have not yet been finalized.

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