July 7, 2020

True Food Is Latest Restaurant Linked to a Shigella Outbreak

True Food Kitchen in Newport Beach, California is the latest restaurant to be linked to a Shigella outbreak. The vegan-friendly restaurant was closed for several days after health officials received six reports of shigellosis, the infection resulting from the ingestion of food contaminated with microscopic amounts of feces from a person infected with Shigella bacteria.

Shigella bacteriaAt restaurants, the cause of Shigella outbreaks is often poor employee hygiene or improper hand washing. Produce can also become contaminated if it comes in contact with raw sewage in growing fields

Symptoms of a Shigella infection include diarrhea, fever and cramps lasting five to seven days.  Anyone who ate at the restaurant and  experienced these symptoms should see a doctor and mention possible exposure.

There have been dozens of Shigella outbreaks at restaurants over the past decade, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  The food sources of these outbreaks includes: beef, chicken, pork, oysters, tomatoes, salsa, guacamole, salad, bread, cheese, melon, coffee and ice.

In June, 158 people who ate at Salsarita’s in the Bentonville, Ark. Walmart home office were sickened by Shigella. That restaurant was also temporarily closed for food safety violations  discovered after reports of illness. Violations included employees not washing their hands, employees touching food with their bare hands and juices from raw chicken dripping onto bottled drinks in the refrigerator.

Other notable outbreaks include: a 2010 outbreak at fast food restaurant in Illinois that sickened 314 people. Of those, 13 were hospitalized. One person died. In 1998, a multistate outbreak linked to parsley sickened 486 people. And in 2006, six people who at an Indiana restaurant were infected with the rare strain Shigella dysenteriae, which has caused deadly epidemics.



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