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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

“It’s the water – and a lot more.” Salmonella Outbreak Tied to Alamosa City Water.

OK, that is the Olympia Beer slogan from the State of Washington.  But, clearly, Alamosa has "a lot more" in its water than its residents bargained for.

Today, Colorado State Health officials announced an outbreak of Salmonella contaminated drinking water and put residents of Alamosa under a bottled water advisory.  Officials said people should immediately stop using tap water from the city’s water system for drinking and cooking.  A spokeswoman for the city said residents were safe to boil their water before using it.  Otherwise they should use bottled water.  To date, 33 cases of salmonella have been confirmed and linked to the outbreak, and another 46 reported cases of salmonella are being investigated by health officials.  State consumer protection officials provided the following guidance during the bottled water order:

– At home, use bottled water for cooking, drinking, brushing teeth, making ice, washing dishes and for adding to any food especially for the preparation of baby formula.

– Home-style/domestic dishwashing machines are adequate for sanitizing if the heat drying cycle is applied.

– Bathing and showering in the water should present no problems for healthy individuals. Exercise caution not to ingest water during such activities.

– No commercial food preparation should be done unless approved by the local public health agency.

– Consider using prepared food from an alternative approved source.

– Use only prepackaged foods that do not require any additional preparation other than heating in its original container.

– Frequently wash hands and apply hand sanitizer after washing.

– Do not touch food with bare hands. Use disposable gloves.

– Use frozen/canned produce.

– Purchase packaged potable ice.

– Do not use water to wash plates, cups and utensils. Use only single-service utensils, such as paper plates, napkins, cups, plastic spoons, forks and knives.