A week ago from last Saturday, 150 guests dined at a catered event on Nov. 12 associated with a wedding in Colbert County, AL. By the following week, at least 77 of those Alabama wedding guests were ill and 12 were hospitalized.
The state health department officials say the investigation is ongoing, but preliminary reports from the state health department laboratory suggests salmonella enteriditis in food specimens of cooked chicken as well as green beans, both served at a wedding reception in Sheffield on Nov. 12, as the likely cause.
Dr. Karen Landers Monday said “chicken was likely the primary source of the germ” as raw chicken can be contaminated with salmonella, a common foodborne germ.
The assistant state health director went on to say that finding salmonella in the green beans was probably the result of cross contamination and could have occurred from using the same serving utensils for the beans and the chicken.
Landers says the Alabama Department of Public Health has suspended the caterer’s permit because of the outbreak at wedding. Officials did not immediately release either the caterer’s name nor that of the wedding party. The department said in a statement that all patients are recovering from the foodborne illness. Symptoms have included “vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain and some fever.”
(To sign up for a free subscription to Food Safety News, click here.)