Almost 300 people are sick in a Salmonella outbreak linked to the deli at the Boise Co-op, according to the latest update from the Central District Health Department (CDHD). As of July 1, 290 cases of Salmonella had been reported.
Tests on food samples taken from the deli show that raw turkey, tomatoes and onion were contaminated with the bacteria. Those who became ill reported purchasing food from the deli after June 1.
Salmonella bacteria live in the intestines of humans and other animals. Foods become contaminated when they come into contact with feces containing the bacteria. This can happen to meat during slaughter, through cross-contamination or through inadequate hygiene of food handlers.
Symptoms of a Salmonella infection usually develop within six to 72 hours of exposure and last about a week. They include diarrhea, cramps, fever and nausea.
Some infections can be severe and require hospitalizations. After initial symptoms resolve, long-term complications can arise including reactive arthritis, heart disease, and high blood pressure.