Research -Salmonella enterica Serotype Javiana Infections Linked to a Seafood Restaurant in Maricopa County, Arizona, 2016

Journal of Food Protection

On 10 August 2016, the Maricopa County Department of Public Health identified culture-confirmed Salmonella enterica serotype Javiana isolates from two persons who reported eating at a seafood restaurant; seven additional cases were reported by 15 August. We investigated to identify a source and prevent further illness. We interviewed persons with laboratory-reported Salmonella Javiana infection. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and whole genome sequencing of isolates were performed. A case was defined as diarrheal illness in a person during July to September 2016; confirmed cases had Salmonella Javiana isolate yielding outbreak-related PFGE patterns; probable cases had diarrheal illness and an epidemiologic link to a confirmed case. Case finding was performed (passive surveillance and identification of ill meal companions). A case-control study assessed risk factors for Salmonella Javiana infection among restaurant diners; control subjects were chosen among meal companions. No restaurant workers reported illness. Foods were reportedly cooked according to the Food Code. Food and environmental samples were collected and cultured; Salmonella Javiana with an indistinguishable PFGE pattern was isolated from portioned repackaged raw shrimp, halibut, and a freezer door handle. We identified 50 Salmonella Javiana cases (40 confirmed and 10 probable); illness onset range was from 22 July to 17 September 2016. Isolates from 40 patients had highly related PFGE patterns. Thirty-three (73%) of 45 patients interviewed reported eating at the restaurant. Among 21 case patients and 31 control subjects, unfried cooked shrimp was associated with illness (odds ratio, 6.7; 95% confidence interval, 1.8 to 24.9; P = 0.004). Among restaurant diners, laboratory and case-control evidence indicated shrimp as the possible outbreak source; poor thermal inactivation of Salmonella on shrimp is theorized as a possible cause. Cross-contamination might have prolonged this outbreak; however, the source was not identified and highlights limitations that can arise during these types of investigations.

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