A food poisoning outbreak associated with Pappadeaux Seafood Restaurant in Phoenix, Arizona is over, Jeanene Fowler, acting Public Informations Officer for the Maricopa County Department of Public Health told Food Poisoning Bulletin. She did not confirm the bacteria that is associated with this outbreak, but news sources state that it was a Salmonella outbreak.
The county is closing its investigation into the outbreak and official documents will be available within a few weeks. Officials would not confirm how many people were sickened after eating at the restaurant, when their illnesses began, or if anyone was hospitalized as a result of their illness. A lawsuit was filed against this restaurant on September 27, 2016.
However, restaurant inspection reports posted on the Maricopa County Department of Public Health website show that an advisory inspection was conducted at Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen at 1051 North Black Canyon Highway in Phoenix on August 11, 2016. That report’s inspection comments state, “This inspection was conducted as a result of a communicable disease report and inspection request from the Maricopa County Department of Public Health. Discussed the five reportable foodborne illnesses and corresponding symptoms employees must report to the person in charge to reduce the risk of transmission of foodborne illness. Cooking and holding temperatures of suspect food items were found to be in compliance. Discussed proper hand washing procedures with person in charge. Advised person in charge to remind employees that within the 20 second hand wash requirement, hands must be scrubbed with soap between 10 to 15 seconds. Discussed proper warewashing procedures. Advised person in charge that all food contact surfaces must be washed, rinsed and sanitized no less than every 4 hours if under room temperature.”
EPI investigations were then conducted at the restaurant on August 26, 2016 and September 7, 2016. During those inspections, product samples were obtained as a result of Maricopa County Department of Public Health’s request. A routine inspection was conducted on September 14, 2016 and the only violation was for missing shellstock tags for mussels.
Since the multiplier for Salmonella outbreaks used by epidemiologists is 30.3, there could be more than 150 people who were sickened in this outbreak. Most people who contract Salmonella infections do not go to see a doctor but recover on their own.
Salmonella infections are usually linked to contamination of a food source, such as chicken or produce, or cross-contamination between raw meats or contaminated foods and foods that are not cooked before being served. And bacteria can grow when food is not held at safe temperatures. These infections can also be transmitted when a sick person prepares food or drink for others.
The symptoms of a Salmonella infection include nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, fever, chills, headache, muscle pains, and blood in the stool. These are common symptoms of other types of food poisoning as well, including E. coli, Shigella, and Campylobacter. If you ate at Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen this summer and have experienced these symptoms, please see a doctor.
Long term complications of a Salmonella infection can include colitis, Reiter’s Syndrome, which can lead to reactive arthritis, and Salmonella meningitis. Your doctor should have a record of this illness on your chart in case problems develop in the future.