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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2004 Bacillus cereus at a Palm Beach Prison Linked to Consumption of Deli Meat or Beans

Inmates at a Palm Beach County, Florida, prison facility reported illness starting on September 15, 2004. Prisoners reported gastrointestinal distress after a meal of meat sandwiches and baked beans. The baked beans were determined to be the likely source of the outbreak after an environmental inspection found that the beans from September 12 had been mixed with the September 15 batch likely contaminating it. The determination of the etiology of the disease as Bacillus cereus toxin also aided in this conclusion, as Bacillus cereus usually grows nicely in improperly stored, grain dishes, like beans. The turkey bologna and pudding also contained Bacillus cereus and the turkey bologna was also a statistically significant source of illness. The health department concluded there were multiple paths of infection and contamination including: contaminated raw beans, improper cooking and reheating of turkey, cross-contamination, and preparation of a large quantity of food a few hours before serving and poor temperature control.

  • Outbreak began:
  • August 2004
  • Affected Country:
  • US
  • Affected States/Territories:
  • Florida
  • Organism(s):
  • Other
  • Vehicle(s):
  • Poultry, Turkey, Bologna Grains, Beans, Baked
  • Molecular Results Available:
  • No
  • Test Results:
  • None
  • Location(s):
  • Prison
  • Brand Name(s):
  • Product Subject to Recall:
  • No
  • Total ill:
  • 56
  • Number ill by Case Definition Known:
  • Yes
  • Number Laboratory Confirmed Cases:
  • 56
  • Number Probable Cases:
  • 0
  • Number Possible Cases:
  • 0
  • Anyone Hospitalized:
  • No
  • Number Hospitalized:
  • 0
  • Any Deaths:
  • No
  • Number Dead:
  • 0
  • Any References:
  • Yes

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