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 Outbreak of Scombroid Poisoning Related to Escolar, Washington

In November, two separate reports of scombroid toxin poisoning were reported to local health departments in Washington. Both groups of case-patients had consumed escolar prior to symptom onset. One group had participated in a cooking class where the escolar was prepared, the other group was a family who had bought the fish at a local grocery store. Epidemiologists interviewed both groups to establish the symptoms observed and the amount of fish consumed. Along with the scombroid toxin poisoning, many people in the class also suffered from escolar-associated gastroenteritis (EAG) due to the indigestible nature of some of the esters in the fish's flesh. Fish samples from the class and the grocery store were tested for histamine and both samples showed elevated levels. A traceback found the suppliers of the two locations were different, but the original wholesaler was the same.

  • Outbreak began:
  • November 2004
  • Affected Country:
  • US
  • Affected States/Territories:
  • Washington
  • Organism(s):
  • Toxin
  • Vehicle(s):
  • Seafood, Finfish, Escolar
  • Molecular Results Available:
  • No
  • Test Results:
  • None
  • Location(s):
  • Restaurant, Home
  • Brand Name(s):
  • Product Subject to Recall:
  • Unknown
  • Total ill:
  • 16
  • Number ill by Case Definition Known:
  • Yes
  • Number Laboratory Confirmed Cases:
  • 16
  • 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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