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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2019 Outbreak of Salmonella Saintpaul at a Funeral Reception, Texas

In November 2019 Austin Public Health (Texas) investigated an outbreak of salmonellosis occurring among people who attended a funeral and reception at a church on November 2, 2019. Foods served at the reception included rotisserie chicken, fried chicken, beef brisket, potato salad, green beans, corn, rolls and lemon cake. Several foods including the rotisserie chicken, fried chicken, beef brisket and potato salad were purchased pre-cooked at a local grocery store. Other items were brought by attendees. Sixty one people of 67 people interviewed reported symptoms that included abdominal cramps, diarrhea, vomiting, fever and fatigue. The majority of people became ill within 6-12 hours of consuming the meal. Twenty six people were laboratory confirmed with Salmonella. Twenty six people were hospitalized. There were no deaths. Many of the ill people interviewed suspected that the cause of illness was the rotisserie chicken because it smelled and/or tasted bad. Family members had purchased 15 rotisserie chickens from a retail establishment the day before the funeral, brought them home, and refrigerated them overnight. The next day the chicken was cut up and reheated to serve at the funeral reception. Because of complaints of the bad taste and smell, the chicken was removed from serving plates and discarded. A leftover sample of the rotisserie chicken was tested at the state public health laboratory. The lab considered the sample unsatisfactory and did not test it. Austin Public Health Environmental Health Services visited the retail location where the chicken was purchased and conducted an inspection of the kitchen and its process. No violations were noted. Investigators concluded that food served at the reception was the most likely cause of the outbreak. However, because so many people who reported illness consumed the chicken, it was not statistically possible to implicate a specific food item.

  • Outbreak began:
  • November 2019
  • Affected Country:
  • US
  • Affected States/Territories:
  • Texas
  • Organism(s):
  • Salmonella
  • Vehicle(s):
  • Unknown
  • Molecular Results Available:
  • Unknown
  • Test Results:
  • None
  • Location(s):
  • church reception
  • Brand Name(s):
  • Product Subject to Recall:
  • No
  • Total ill:
  • 61
  • Number ill by Case Definition Known:
  • Yes
  • Number Laboratory Confirmed Cases:
  • 26
  • Number Probable Cases:
  • 35
  • Number Possible Cases:
  • 0
  • Anyone Hospitalized:
  • Yes
  • Number Hospitalized:
  • 26
  • Any Deaths:
  • No
  • Number Dead:
  • 0

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