A recent Salmonella Schwarzengrund outbreak associated with the Boise, Idaho Pho Tam restaurant has sickened at least five people.
Food Safety News reports: “We’ve gone in and inspected and looked at appropriate food safety controls,” said Christine Myron, public information officer for the Central District Health Department in Boise. “They’ve not determined a definite source yet, and they don’t know how it got into the food,” she added.
The department’s environmental health staff took food samples from the restaurant and no Salmonella bacteria grew from them, Myron said. Based on the lab results so far, she said this outbreak is not associated with a national one.
“Sounds like it’s localized to Boise,” Myron noted. She said she could not comment on the current status of the five victims.
The first Salmonella case related to this particular outbreak was reported in late February and the most recent one was reported on Thursday, Myron said. The restaurant is currently open and complying with all food safety regulations.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), people infected with Salmonella bacteria develop diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps between 12 and 72 hours after infection. The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days, and most individuals recover without treatment.
In some cases, however, diarrhea may be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized. In these patients, the Salmonella infection may spread from the intestines to the bloodstream and then to other body sites. In these cases, Salmonella can cause death unless the person is treated promptly with antibiotics. The elderly, infants, and those with impaired immune systems are more likely to have a severe illness.
Salmonella bacteria are commonly found in raw or undercooked foods such as eggs, egg products, meat, meat products, unpasteurized (raw) milk, or other unpasteurized dairy products such as cheese. Thorough cooking and processing will effectively kill Salmonella bacteria.