Following the investigation and interviewing patients infected, 72 cases of Salmonella Montevideo infections with indistinguishable patterns were reported with the onset of gastrointestinal illness between Aug. 21 and Nov. 15, and investigators were able to determine the outbreak strain, according to the report. Of the 72 cases, 19 patients were hospitalized and no deaths were reported, according to the report.
Tad Williams, Environmental Health director for the South Georgia Health District, was notified by investigators that the fast food restaurant Arby’s was considered a possible source for the outbreak.
Investigators found that the restaurant had been closed for remodeling and reopened on Aug. 18, 2006, and was utilizing a brand new meat slicer following the reopening. Nineteen days after the restaurant was identified as the possible source of the outbreak, on Oct. 25, GPHL reported that one of the swab samples collected from the new meat slicer was positive for the Salmonella outbreak strain and the slicer was immediately removed from service. All food items that may have been in contact with the slicer were thrown away and additional food items were collected for testing, according to the report.