October 18, 2021

Foodborne Illness Outbreak at South Peninsula Hospital in Homer, Alaska

A foodborne illness outbreak at South Peninsula Hospital in Homer, Alaska has sickened almost 80 people, according to the Anchorage Daily News. State epidemiologists are investigating the outbreak that has sickened hospital employees. All patients developed symptoms on or around on the morning of August 7, 2021.

Foodborne Illness Outbreak at South Peninsula Hospital in Homer, Alaska

Everyone who got sick ate food brought in as employee meals from a variety of local restaurants. Those restaurants have not yet been named. A post on the Alaska Health and Social Services Facebook page has a survey that anyone who lives in the Homer area can take to help officials solve this outbreak. No patients or hospital residents ate the food. The source of the outbreak is not known at the time.

The agencies investigating the outbreak are the Alaska Department of Health and Social Service’s Section of Epidemiology in coordination with the Alaska Department of Conservation Food Safety Sanitation Program.

Symptoms include diarrhea and stomach cramps, which have resolved quickly. Fever is not one of the symptoms being reported. Patients said they began to feel sick Friday evening through Saturday morning.

Possible pathogens that may have caused these illnesses include norovirus, Clostridium perfringens, or Staphylococcus aureus. All cause vomiting and diarrhea within a few hours of infection.

Clostridium perfringens outbreaks usually occur when large amounts of food are served to crowds. Symptoms include abdominal pain, stomach cramps, nausea, and diarrhea. People usually start getting sick within a few hours of exposure.

Norovirus is the most common food poisoning illness in the United States. This virus is very contagious and causes symptoms within a few hours. This virus is spread through contaminated food and drink and person-to-person. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, fever, headache, stomach pain, body aches, and diarrhea.

Staphylococcus aureus food poisoning symptoms are sudden and abrupt. People usually get sick within 30 minutes to three hours after eating contaminated food. This illness is most commonly caused by improper food handling. Symptoms include nauseas, vomiting, and abdominal cramps with or without diarrhea.

If you have been experiencing these symptoms and live in or have visited the Homer area, see your doctor. You may be part of this South Peninsula Hospital outbreak.

Pritzker Hageman Food Safety Lawyers

If you or a loved one have been sickened with food poisoning after eating food at South Peninsula Hospital in Homer, Alaska, please contact our experienced attorneys for help at 1-888-377-8900 or 612-338-0202.

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