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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

Easter Egg Hunt – Staphylococcal Food Poisoning – A Great Way to Ruin Your Easter

So, between reading my emails, I read the 1984 JAMA Article by G. A. Merrill, S. B. Werner, R. G. Bryant, D. Fredson and K. Kelly

Staphylococcal food poisoning associated with an Easter egg hunt

Staphylococcal contamination of intact, hard-boiled eggs resulted in the food poisoning of an estimated 300 children out of 850 who had participated in an Easter egg hunt. Enterotoxigenic staphylococci that were isolated from the Easter eggs matched that obtained from an infected cook who prepared the eggs three to five days before the hunt and which he left unrefrigerated. Experimental studies demonstrated that heated eggs can absorb 2 mL of contaminated cool water through intact eggshells. When water was inoculated with pathogenic staphylococci at even low contamination levels, rapid growth and enterotoxin production within cooked eggs could be easily duplicated. This is the first large outbreak of its type; safeguards can and should be employed to prevent future ones.

Damn, is nothing sacred?