October 14, 2019

Salmonella Outbreak at Perryville Correctional Facility in Arizona Sickens 5

A Salmonella outbreak at the Perryville Correctional Facility in Goodyear, Arizona has sickened five people, Chris Minnick, Communications Director of the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) told Food Poisoning Bulletin. The outbreak began on August 14, 2019. This facility houses women inmates.

Salmonella Outbreak at Perryville Correctional Facility in Arizona Sickens 5

Officials took and tested 69 environmental samples. All were negative for the pathogen. We do not know if anyone has been hospitalized in this outbreak. And we do not know the patient age range.

The origination for these infections is under investigation by the Arizona Department of Health Services, and no more information or additional details about the cases are being released. The Arizona Department of Corrections is working with ADHS to investigate this outbreak.

Outbreaks at prisons are unique. Since these people do not have a choice about where and what they are going to eat, administrators and staff must ensure that the food they eat is not contaminated with pathogenic bacteria that can make someone sick.

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These facilities are at higher risk for foodborne illness outbreaks simply because of potential overcrowding and close contact. Many types of foodborne illness, including Salmonella, E. coli, and Listeria monocytogenes, can be spread through person-to-person contact.

This outbreak at the Perryville Correctional Facility is not unique. There have been several food poisoning outbreaks at prisons in this country in the past few years. They include:

  • A Salmonella outbreak at the Arizona State Prison Complex in Winslow, Arizona in 2015. That outbreak sickened 240 people. The bacteria was found in a tossed salad.
  • Also in 2015, a Salmonella outbreak at a Tennessee correctional facility that was linked to mechanically separated Tyson chicken sickened 9 people.
  • And an outbreak at the Cass County Jail in North Dakota in 2015 sickened more than 100 inmates.
  • In 2017, a food poisoning outbreak at the Ramsey County Jail in Minnesota sickened more than 100 inmates.
  • In 2018, a Salmonella outbreak at the Cook County Jail in Chicago sickens more than 50 people, hospitalizing two.
  • Also in 2018, an E. coli O157:H7 outbreak at Anvil Mountain Correctional Center in Nome Alaska sickened eight people. That outbreak was linked to romaine lettuce grown in the Yuma, Arizona region.
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