A Salmonella outbreak linked to the deli at the Boise Co-op is the largest Salmonella outbreak in Idaho history. At least 290 have been sickened, according to the Central District Health Department (CDHD).
Testing on food samples taken from the deli has shown that raw turkey, tomatoes and onion were all contaminated with the bacteria. It’s not clear if they were all contaminated before they arrived at the store, or if one of them was and contaminated the others, or if all of the foods were contaminated by an infected food handler.
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. Others can trigger long-term complications including reactive arthritis, heart disease, and high blood pressure.
Those who became ill this outbreak reported purchasing food from the deli after June 1. Idaho health officials remind everyone that people experiencing diarrhea should stay home from work, school and daycare to reduce the risk of spreading illness.