According to the Seattle King County Health Department, a traceback investigation has confirmed that pork served at the Good Vibe Tribe Luau in Seattle where people were sickened with Salmonella food poisoning came from Kapowsin Meats, a facility in Graham, Washington. That slaughterhouse was involved in a large Salmonella outbreak last year.
That outbreak in 2015 sickened 192 people in five states. Samples collected at Kapowsin Meats in Pierce County confirmed that the outbreak strain of Salmonella was present at the business.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) investigated that 2015 outbreak and found that the outbreak strains of bacteria were Salmonella I 4,,12:i:- and Salmonella Infantis. Most of the ill persons were from Washington. Thirty ill persons were hospitalized. No deaths were reported in that outbreak. Kapowsin Meats eventually recalled more than 523,000 pounds of pork products as a result of this outbreak.
Ten isolates collected from ten sick people in the 2015 outbreak were tested for antibiotic resistance. All of them were multidrug resistant, including resistance to ampicillin, streptomycin, sulfisoxazole, and tetracycline.
The Good Vibe Tribe Luau associated with the current outbreak took place on July 3, 2016. In that current outbreak, there are two cases that are confirmed with the same genetic fingerprint (PFGE pattern) as the outbreak strain. Six people have confirmed Salmonella infections, but the PFGE pattern is pending. And seven people are sick with symptoms consistent with a Salmonella infection, but no testing has been done.
The catering firm Mojita, at 7545 Lake City Way NE in Seattle, provided food for the event. Environmental Health inspectors visited that catering facility on July 13, 2016 to ask about food sources and preparation methods.
Public health officials are still asking that members of the public who attended that event, even if they did not get ill, fill out a survey. Answers to those questions may help solve this outbreak. Comparing food histories of those who did not get sick to those who did can help determine what caused the illnesses.
The symptoms of a Salmonella infection include nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, fever, chills, headache, and muscle pains. The symptoms usually begin six to seventy-two hours after exposure to the bacteria, and last a few days up to a week.
Most people recover from this illness on their own, but some become so sick they are hospitalized. Some people can suffer long term complications from this infection, including reactive arthritis, high blood pressure, and irritable bowel syndrome.