May 28, 2020

Good Vibe Tribe Luau WA Outbreak: Kapowsin Meats Again?

According to Public Health Insider, insights from Seattle & King County Public Health staff, pork served at the Good Vibe Tribe Luau  at Golden Gardens Park in Seattle on July 3, 2016, at which 11 people were sickened with Salmonella food poisoning, was supplied by Kapowsin Meats. That facility was linked to a Salmonella outbreak last year in the Seattle area.


That 2015 outbreak sickened at least 192 people in five states. The antibiotic resistant outbreak strains of Salmonella  I 4,[5],12:i:- and Salmonella Infantis hospitalized 30 people, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Most of those sickened in 2015 attended events where whole pigs supplied by Kapowsin were roasted.

Kapowsin issued a recall of some of their products on August 13, 2015, and then expanded the recall and ceased production on August 27, 2015. In the end, more than 500,000 pounds of pork were recalled.

Everyone who got sick after the Luau on July 3, 2016 ate pork that was served there, according to public health officials. The genetic fingerprint of cases in this outbreak match the fingerprint of the Kapowsin Salmonella outbreak strain from last year. The press release states, “We are very concerned that this outbreak could be related to the Kapowsin Meats outbreak from last year and have laboratory evidence suggesting a link. We are making every effort to work swiftly with our state and federal partners including the regulatory agencies involved to confirm the source and stop the outbreak quickly so that many fewer people are affected.”

But there were many other foods served at the event, and public health officials are investigating food sources and preparation procedures for all of the items served. The bacteria could have come from many other sources.

Six of those sickened have confirmed Salmonella illnesses. Five more people responded to the survey put out by Seattle & King County and said they got sick with symptoms of salmonellosis, but did not get tested. None of those sickened have been hospitalized in this current outbreak. There are no additional known cases in King County as of 7/19/16.

The symptoms of Salmonella food poisoning include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, fever, chills, and abdominal cramps. The symptoms usually begin six to seventy-two hours after exposure to the bacteria. Most people get better after a few days or a week, but some become so ill they must be hospitalized.

To prevent the spread of Salmonella infections, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after using the bathroom, changing diapers, touching animals, or caring for someone who is ill. Always wash your hands before eating or preparing food, and never prepare food when you are sick, especially with a diarrheal illness.

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