The Outbreak Of Salmonella Poisoning In Newton County
At least 70 people received medical attention due to a salmonella outbreak in Newton County. Most of the people received treatment from their primary care physicians or from urgent care centers.
Four of the individuals had to be hospitalized because of gruesome side effects.
There was also a case of an infant who became infected with salmonella through breast milk.
The first cases of the outbreak were reported on May 4. By May 15, another wave of people came forward with the same medical problems.
Finding The Cause Of The Salmonella Outbreak
The Health Department of Newton County was perplexed by the high number of salmonella-related cases. They investigated to find the source of the outbreak.
"It's very unusual to see such a high number of cases in one community for salmonella. Patients were presented with significantly high fever and diarrheal illness," said Piedmont Newton Chief Medical Officer Dr. Norris Little. "That means that there is some commonality with the way they contracted the illness. The possible sources would be, you know, everything from groceries to restaurants to farms. I mean the sources are just enormous."
After speaking to all of the patients, officials pinpointed the salmonella outbreak to food prepared by local caterer Plain Nuts Catering and Deli. The first wave of illnesses occurred from an invitation-only event it catered on April 28. The second wave of illnesses stemmed from a different event on May 9, but it was also catered by the same company.
Once the authorities learned that Nuts Catering and Deli was the potential cause of the outbreak, they closed the catering facility to conduct an investigation. Nuts Catering and Deli is cooperating with the investigation.
"Additional on-site training has been provided to all staff and additional screening of food service staff is underway," the Health Department said. "In addition, the facility has followed the Health Department recommendations of conducting a full enhanced cleaning of the facility prior to re-opening."
The Aftermath Of The Salmonella Outbreak
Officials in Newton County are still unsure if the outbreak has concluded. It has been several days since another case of the illness has been reported.
Common symptoms of salmonella poisoning include diarrhea, bloody stools, vomiting, cramps, and fever.