April 18, 2024

Salmonella Sickens 150 After Chincoteague Chili Cook-Off in VA

At least 150 people from as many as eight states have been sickened in the Salmonella outbreak linked to the Chincoteague Chili Chowder Cook-Off in Chincoteague, Virginia. Delaware is the only state that has posted an announcement of this outbreak on their web site. People who attended that event live in that state, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia, and North Carolina, as well as Virginia.


Dr. David Matson, director of the Eastern Shore Health District told DelMarVa Now, “We are positive it is a Salmonella outbreak.” According to that paper, more than 20 cultures from different laboratories in Maryland and Virginia tested positive for Salmonella. The cook off was held on September 30, 2017.

Some of those sickened may have been hospitalized, although there is no confirmation of this fact. The number of those hospitalized is not known.

At least 2,500 people attended the event. The health district has created an online survey, asking that anyone who attended that event fill it out to help them pinpoint what caused the outbreak. People who did not get sick are asked to fill it out as well. The survey was created after there were so many phone calls to the district that the system shut down.

Attorney Fred Pritzker

Attorney Fred Pritzker, who has represented clients sickened with Salmonella infections, said, “Even when you recover from this infection, there is still a risk you will develop a serious complication in the future.” Call 1-888-377-8900.

Noted food safety attorney Fred Pritzker said, “no one should get sick and be hospitalized just because they attended an event. Anyone providing food to the public has to know food safety rules and regulations and must provide safe food.”

So far, fewer than 500 people have filled out the survey. It’s important that well persons fill it out too, since that can help public health officials in their investigation. There were many vendors at that event, serving many different kinds of food. Some of the samples have been sent to the state laboratory for more testing. If you do have questions, call the Accomack County, Virginia Health Department at 757-302-4268.

The symptoms of a Salmonella infection include vomiting, nausea, diarrhea that may be bloody, a fever, and abdominal cramps. Most people get sick six to seventy-two hours after exposure to the bacteria.

And most people recover without treatment and never visit their doctor, which is why the multiplier for these outbreaks is 38. That could mean there are hundreds more sick.

Long term complications of this infection can threaten your health, which is why that patient’s doctors should be informed whenever anyone has a Salmonella infection. Those complications can include high blood pressure, reactive arthritis, and irritable bowel syndrome.

Pritzker Hageman, America’s food safety law firm, successfully helps and represents people hurt by adulterated foods in outbreaks throughout the United States. Its lawyers have won hundreds of millions of dollars for foodborne illness patients and their families, including the largest verdict in American history for a person harmed by E. coli and hemolytic uremic syndrome. The firm also publishes the site Food Poisoning Bulletin, a respected Google News source for food safety news and information.  Pritzker Hageman lawyers are often interviewed as experts on the topic by major news outlets including the New York Times, CNN, and the Wall Street Journal. In addition, the firm represents people harmed by pathogenic microorganisms in Legionnaires‘ disease, surgical site infections, and product liability cases.

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