The Central District Health Department in Boise, Idaho has found three critical violations at the Boise Co-op, which was the site of a large Salmonella outbreak earlier this summer. The inspection was conducted on July 24, 2015. The violations were corrected while the inspector was still at the facility.
The violations included meat in the deli’s walk-in coolers that are undated or past their expiration date. Temperatures that were too warm were discovered in the deli salad bar. Several salads, including chopped chicken, caprese salad, and pasta with chicken were held at incorrect temperatures. And in the produce department, employees were using a multi-surface cleaner that was not approved for use on food contact surfaces. Ben Kuzma, Boise Co-op general manager said that the violations were habits that the employees were trying to break.
These violations were found before the investigation of the Salmonella outbreak has been completed by public health officials. In that outbreak, preliminary tests found Salmonella in raw turkey, tomatoes, and onions in the deli department of the Co-op.
Several employees tested positive for Salmonella bacteria. They will not return to work until they have tested negative for the pathogenic bacteria two times.
The symptoms of a Salmonella infection include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, fever, chills, headache, muscle pains, and blood in the stool. This illness can be passed from person-to-person, but it most often spread through contaminated food or water. The symptoms appear six to seventy-two hours after exposure, and the illness lasts for about a week.
While most people recover without medical attention, some become so ill they must be hospitalized. The long term consequences of a Salmonella infection can be severe, including irritable bowel syndrome and arthritis. If you have experienced these symptoms, see your doctor. This information should be on your medical records.