The Alabama Department of Public Health is investigating an outbreak of both E. coli and Salmonella at a church chicken dinner, according to AL.com. One person may have died after the May 30, 2014 event. Nineteen people in Morgan county had symptoms of food poisoning, including vomiting, diarrhea, and nausea.
Three local hospitals have reported treating ill persons. The two confirmed cases tested positive for E. coli, Salmonella, or both. The person who died had an E. coli infection.
There are several news reports about this outbreak; each has slightly different information. WHNT TV states that state epidemiologist Dr. Mary McIntyre confirmed there are 19 combined cases of E. coli and Salmonella in this outbreak. That report states that one of the ill persons who may be part of this outbreak ate at a public luncheon at a church in Decatur, Alabama on May 30. DecaturDaily.com states that the event was at Bridge Builders Church on Beltline Road that was an informational workshop for seniors. None of this information has been confirmed by officials.
Public health officials are still looking for a cause of the outbreak. Specimens are being tested at laboratories. The meal was catered.
The health department is asking that anyone who was at the dinner in Morgan county on May 30, 2014 and has been ill contact them and provide a specimen. The investigation will solve this mystery more quickly if there are more specimens to test. These types of investigations use questionnaires and interviews, along with reviews of medical records, to solve the outbreak.
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SOURCE: Food Poisoning Bulletin