October 23, 2016

Preliminary Cause of Cass County ND Jail Outbreak: Clostridium Perfringens

Several news reports state that the North Dakota Department of health has made a preliminary diagnosis about what sickened 110 inmates in the Cass County Jail last month. Clostridium perfringens was most likely the culprit. Stool samples from several inmates revealed the pathogenic bacteria. This bacteria is found on raw meat and poultry. It grows when foods are prepared in large quantities, as in jails, nursing homes, and schools, and that food is kept warm, but not quite warm enough, for long periods of time, or is improperly cooled. This type of outbreak is quite common in large institutions. The outbreak in December 2015 was the second one at the Cass County Jail in the last four years. About 40% of the 282 inmates at the jail were sick with symptoms that included diarrhea … [Read more...]

Illness Outbreak at Cass County Jail, ND

According to news reports, an outbreak of illness at the Cass County Jail in North Dakota has sickened more than 100 inmates. People started reporting illness symptoms such as upset stomachs and diarrhea last night. Now, 110 of the 282 inmates have the same symptoms. In addition, two visitors to the jail have reported feeling sick. All of the inmates have been treated on site. No one has been hospitalized and no patient is getting worse. No inmates have been quarantined as a result of this outbreak. This is most likely another norovirus outbreak similar to the one that sickened more than 14o people at Boston College last week. Norovirus symptoms include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. The illnesses could also be caused by Clostridium perfringens, a bacteria that causes similar … [Read more...]

San Quentin Legionnaires’ Outbreak Traced to Cooling Towers

A Legionnaires' Disease outbreak at the San Quentin State Prison in San Quentin, California was caused by contaminated cooling towers. The report was filed by J. Clark Kelso, the federally appointed receiver who is responsible for the California prison's medical system. Thirteen inmates were diagnosed with Legionnaires' Disease, and more than 80 others were diagnosed with pneumonia. Some of the staff were also sickened, and there are twelve cases of staff members' illness that are currently being investigated. The report states that "Later water tests of environmental samples revealed that the water in two of the cooling towers at the top of the Central Health Services Building had high concentrations of Legionella pneumophila serogroup 1, which is the most common cause of … [Read more...]

Salmonella Outbreak at Winslow AZ State Prison

An "extreme" Salmonella outbreak has been reported at the Arizona State Prison Complex in Winslow. The outbreak occurred in the Kaibab and Coronado Units. Officials say that the outbreak has been contained as of September 7, 2015. All of the units are displaying "open" status as of September 23, 2015. Two hundred forty of the 1,426 inmates experienced the symptoms of Salmonella food poisoning. The last time an illness was reported was on September 7. The Arizona Department of corrections worked with public health officials to contain the outbreak. On-site medical care was provided to sick inmates. Lab samples were sent offsite for analysis. The Salmonella was found in a tossed salad that was served to both units on August 31, 2015, according to Andrew Wilder, director of … [Read more...]

Legionnaires’ Outbreak at San Quentin State Prison

A Legionnaires' Disease outbreak at the San Quentin State Prison has forced that facility to shut off the water. There are six confirmed cases, and at least 51 other possible cases. Those prisoners who have been diagnosed with the illness have been transferred to hospitals for treatment. The possible cases are under observation at the prison's medical unit. Portable toilets are being brought in for the prisoners' use. The kitchen has stopped producing meals; inmates are eating boxed meals. The prisoners who may be sick live in all areas of the prison. The Marin County Health Department is investigating the outbreak. No visitors have been allowed in the facility since the outbreak began. No prisoners can be transferred in or out of the facility as well. Inmates are being told they … [Read more...]

Salmonella Outbreak at TN Prison Linked to Tyson Chicken

A Salmonella Heidelberg outbreak in 2013 at a Tennessee correctional facility that was linked to mechanically separated Tyson chicken sickened nine people. Twenty-two percent of those sickened were hospitalized; no deaths were reported. All of the ill persons were incarcerated at a single correctional facility in the state. Traceback and other investigations found that mechanically separated chicken produced by Tyson Foods was the source of the 2013 outbreak. Mechanically separated chicken is a paste-like meat product that is made by forcing meat through a sieve to separate bone from the edible part. The product then will have bacteria spread throughout it, similar to ground meats. Since prisoners are literally a "captive audience", it may be considered cruel and unusual punishment … [Read more...]

Food Safety Violations Found at Kansas Prisons

Inspections conducted at prisons in Kansas by the Kansas Department of Corrections has found consistent food safety violations in the prison system's kitchens. Almost 340 inspections conducted between January, 2013 and July 2014 at 19 facilities found repeated deficiencies and noncompliance. It is considered cruel and unusual punishment to not take adequate care of prisoners, who are under complete government control. In addition, when outbreaks occur, taxpayer money is then spent giving medical care to prisoners and investigating the problem. Lawsuits against prisons have been filed and won by the families of prisoners who have been sickened in outbreaks at prisons and jails. The violations recorded in the inspections included not keeping proper temperature logs, not having inmate … [Read more...]

Quarantine at Jackson, MI Parnall Prison as More Sickened

The outbreak at the Parnall Correctional Facility in Jackson has expanded. Now at least 150 people are sick, a dramatic increase from the 30 ill persons reported earlier in the week. Democratic candidate for governor Mark Schauer called on Governor Rick Snyder to end the three year contract with Aramark, which eliminated more than 300 state jobs. The Detroit Free Press reports that a partial quarantine has been ordered; sick inmates are not being allowed to see visitors and no inmates are being moved in or out of the prison. The Michigan Corrections Organization (MCO) union, SEIU Local 526M points out that more maggots were found in the food, in the second incident in one week. The union has been reporting about problems with Aramark, the privatized provider, for weeks. Fruit flies and … [Read more...]

Food Poisoning Outbreak in Jackson, MI Prison

According to the Michigan Corrections Organization (MCO), SEIU Local 526M, Michigan governor Rick Snyder is ordering performance reviews of a private company that provides foods to prison inmates. As of Sunday, June 29, 2014, 30 prisoners were treated for food poisoning after maggots were found near a food service line at the Parnall Correctional Facility. And MCO was told that "maggots were found on potatoes at RGC. Initially, Aramark staff told inmates to separate the bad potatoes from the good, and wash off the good potatoes. A facility administrator stepped in and the potatoes were not used." That provider, Aramark Correctional Services, was warned earlier this month because of food shortages and unapproved changes in menus. The governor told reporters, "that shouldn't happen, in … [Read more...]

Salmonella Outbreak at Oklahoma Prisons

NewsOK.com is reporting that seven inmates in Oklahoma state prisons have been hospitalized in the the last three weeks with Salmonella food poisoning. At the women's Eddie Warrior Correctional Center in Taft, 47 people are sick. At Jim E. Hamilton Correctional Center in Hodgen, 37 inmates are ill; five of those people were hospitalized. One inmate at the Joseph Harp Correction Center in Lexington and one person at Bill Johnson Correctional Center in Alva were hospitalized. The illnesses began in late October. Officials say that the cases don't rise to the level of an outbreak, even though the definition of an outbreak is two or more unrelated persons ill with the same strain of pathogenic bacteria. Salmonella outbreaks are usually linked to food that is not properly cooked or held … [Read more...]

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