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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

Hinderwadel’s Grove Mahogany clams – after poisoning 300 with Campylobacter, perhaps it is time to stop serving (and eating) them raw?

In September 2008 236 people who ate raw Mahogany clams at Hinderwadel’s Grove between September 4 and September 16 developed a gastrointestinal illness. Lab results from the Onondaga County Health Department provided “overwhelming evidence” the clams caused the illnesses.

Screen shot 2010-10-09 at 9.27.27 PM.pngThe clams were contaminated with Campylobacter, a bacteria that causes diarrhea, and Vibrio, a bacterium that lives in salt water and causes gastrointestinal illness. Campylobacter was also found in stool samples collected from people who got sick. Hinderwadel’s stopped serving the suspect Mahogany clams after the outbreak investigation began.

Now, two years later, the Onondaga County Health Department says 60 people have become ill with Campylobacter because of raw Mahogany clams served at another event at Hinerwadel’s. The Health Department says all of the illnesses have been linked to a clambake September 15th for the CNY Builders Exchange.

Just in the last two days, the owner of Hinerwadel’s released a statement in which she says that each serving station has an FDA approved sign warning people about the dangers of eating raw clams. However, she also is reconsidering selling them.

“There’s no law saying you can’t, but we do need to address this and think long and hard whether we will serve raws in the future,” she said. “We don’t want anyone to get sick.”

Good idea.