Foodborne Illness Outbreak Database

This database provides summaries of significant food and water related outbreaks occurring since 1984 caused by E. coli, Salmonella, Hepatitis A, Campylobacter and other pathogens. Read more »

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1998 Salmonella Enteritidis at a Arizona Mexican Chain Restaurant

Maricopa County Environmental Services Department personnel became aware of an outbreak of Salmonella Enteritidis associated with eating at restaurants of a local Mexican restaurant chain. Fourteen of the 22 people who had laboratory confirmed illnesses (phage type 6A) had eaten chile rellenos, which were a pre-cooked, commercial product. The chile rellenos consisted of raw egg-white batter on roasted green chile peppers stuffed with cheese. They had been processed in Mexico where they had been cooked, packed, and frozen. The internal temperature of the chile rellenos was not checked after reheating, prior to serving. Cultures of chile rellenos from other lots distributed in the United States also yielded Salmonella Enteriditis. The distributor voluntarily recalled all products. Cross-contamination and improper food handling were cited as potential causes of illnesses for restaurant patrons who had not eaten the chile rellenos.

  • Outbreak began:
  • July 1998
  • Affected Country:
  • US
  • Affected States/Territories:
  • Arizona
  • Organism(s):
  • Salmonella
  • Vehicle(s):
  • Egg Dishes, Chile Rellenos Cross Contamination
  • Molecular Results Available:
  • Yes
  • Test Results:
  • Phage Type 6A
  • Location(s):
  • Restaurant
  • Brand Name(s):
  • Product Subject to Recall:
  • Yes
  • Total ill:
  • 58
  • Number ill by Case Definition Known:
  • Yes
  • Number Laboratory Confirmed Cases:
  • 22
  • Number Probable Cases:
  • 36
  • Number Possible Cases:
  • 0
  • Anyone Hospitalized:
  • Yes
  • Number Hospitalized:
  • 11
  • Any Deaths:
  • No
  • Number Dead:
  • 0
  • Any References:
  • Yes

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