April 17, 2024

Shigella Outbreak Causes Voluntary Closure of Souplantation in Camarillo, CA

An increase in Shigella infections in Ventura County, California has led to the voluntary, temporary closure of the Souplantation restaurant in Camarillo. Officials were notified on Thursday, June 22, 2017 about an unusual number of cases in the county.

Shigella bacteria

Ventura County Public Health officials said that eight people have been diagnosed with the illness. Seven of those patients ate at the Souplantation restaurant before they got sick. The eighth patient was a “household contact” of one of the seven sickened.

Shigella is a highly contagious bacteria that causes about half a million illnesses in the United States every year. Symptoms include diarrhea that can be bloody, fever, and abdominal pain and cramps. Most people recover without a doctor’s care in about a week, but some do become ill enough to be hospitalized, especially those with underlying immunosuppressive conditions. This illness responds to antibiotics, and in fact, antibiotics can decrease the length of illness and end shedding of the bacteria within a couple of days.

Dr. Robert Levin, Public Health Officer for Ventura County said that “We’re tracking these cases closely, and are working closely with Ventura County Environmental Health, which has completed two inspections of the restaurant in the past two days.” He added, “It is not currently clear what the source of the infection is. No one food item has been indicted.”

Public health inspectors interviewed staff at the restaurant. In addition, stool samples were taken from employees and were sent to the State laboratory for evaluation.

As is typical with these investigations, the restaurant is being sanitized, all food is being discarded, and employees are receiving training in proper food safety measures and food handling. To prevent the spread of this illness, it’s important to stay home from work and/or school if you have diarrhea, especially if you work in the food service, health care, or school areas.

Because some people who are infected with the pathogenic bacteria have no symptoms, they can pass the bacteria on to others. That’s why everyone should be very careful about washing their hands thoroughly with soap and water after using the bathroom.

Public health officials from Ventura County have said that if anyone has eaten at the restaurant in the last few weeks and has been ill, they should see their doctor.

Pritzker Hageman law firm represents those who have been sickened by contaminated food. We get answers, compensation for those who have been injured, and justice through our work. Our lawyers represent families of children sickened with bacterial infections in personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits against retailers, grocery stores, food processors, restaurants, and others. Attorney Fred Pritzker and his team recently won $7.5 million for young client whose kidneys failed because of hemolytic uremic syndrome after an E. coli O157:H7 infection. Please note that class action lawsuits are usually not appropriate for outbreak victims because these types of cases are so unique.

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