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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

Largest Salmonella Outbreak in Washington 2012 – On the Border

At least 120 people were suspected to have fallen ill in a Salmonella Virchow outbreak tied to the On the Border restaurant in Vancouver, Washington.  That case count included 43 laboratory-confirmed patients and another 77 who exhibited symptoms and had a corresponding exposure history at On the Border. Thus far, the only Salmonella Virchow illnesses reported in the country connected back to On the Border, including patients from Oregon and California who were traveling to the area.  Six were hospitalized.

Customers suffering from a Salmonella Virchow infection ate at On the Border between September 20 and October 8, 2012. The restaurant voluntarily closed between October 9 and 15 as health officials investigated the cause of the outbreak.  The restaurant reopened on October 15.

Environmental testing did not aid health officials in identifying the cause of a Salmonella Virchow outbreak that occurred at an On the Border. As with many foodborne illness outbreaks, the cause will likely remain undetermined.

The Salmonella strain at the center of the outbreak, Salmonella Virchow, is a relatively rare strain in the U.S. The Washington State Department of Health has posted these illnesses on PulseNet, a national epidemiology network, in an effort to track other potential Salmonella Virchow outbreaks around the country.