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Food Poisoning Outbreak in Salt Lake City Traced to Staph Infection

Posted on in Food Poisoning

Staphylococcus bacteria was found in the meals of those staying at a Salt Lake City homeless shelter, causing food poisoning in a total of fifty-five people last weekend. Road Home homeless shelter officials say that the shelter did not serve meals over the weekend but that many who stay overnight at the shelter eat at the same nearby kitchens and dining halls. However, no disciplinary action has been taken at this time, as the only violation found in Road Home by the Health Department was water in a sink used for washing hands that did not reach the appropriate temperature within 30 seconds.

All victims of the food poisoning were hospitalized when they exhibited signs of illness at the shelter. Salt Lake County Health Department officials said that the tests pointed to the cause of the food poisoning as a staph bacterium commonly found on skin. This type of bacteria can be introduced when food is prepared with bare, unsanitized hands or if food is not properly heated or cooled.

Causes of Food Poisoning From Staph Bacteria

Staphylococcus bacteria is often transferred from bare hands and can be spread by food workers who carry the bacteria or through contaminated milk and cheeses.

The foods that are at highest risk of carrying staph bacteria are made by hand and require no cooking.

Sliced meats

The staph toxins are resistant to heat and cannot be destroyed by cooking.

Symptoms of Food Poisoning Caused by Staph Bacteria

Symptoms can start to show within 30 minutes of consuming the contaminated food but usually develop 1 to 6 hours after eating.

Stomach cramps

Who is Most at Risk of Developing Food Poisoning From Staph Bacteria?

Young children
Elderly people
Those with weakened immune systems

How is Food Poisoning From Staph Bacteria Identified?

During testing, staph bacteria can be found in the stool, vomit, or the toxin can be detected in food products.

How Do You treat Food Poisoning From Staph Bacteria?

The best treatment for Food POisoning from Staph bacteria is rest and drinking fluids to stay hydrated. Most patients recover within one to three days of consuming the contaminated food, as the infection is usually mild.

How to Prevent the Transfer of Staph Bacteria:

Always wash your hands with soap and warm water, especially before eating or preparing food
If you do not have access to a sink, use hand sanitizer before eating or preparing food
Keep wounds covered with sterile, dry bandages
Practice good hygiene
Avoid sharing personal items such as razors and athletic equipment
Use hot water to wash clothing/bedding

What to Do if You Have Consumed Food Contaminated by Staph Bacteria?

As the symptoms of food poisoning caused by staph bacteria occur rapidly and typically resolve within four days, it is important that you immediately seek legal assistance. Call our team of experienced attorneys at Newland & Newland, LLP to discuss your legal options today. You may also contact us through email to schedule your free phone consultation.

Available to make home and hospital visits upon request.

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