Skip to main content
King County logo
Posted June 9, 2016

Public Health recently investigated an outbreak of salmonellosis (caused by Salmonella bacteria) associated with a private event that occurred in late March. Three laboratory-confirmed and five probable cases of salmonellosis were reported and interviewed by Public Health; one person required hospitalization.

Several foods for the event, attended by roughly 200 people, were prepared in a private kitchen where cross-contamination, insufficient cooking, and inadequate refrigeration may have occurred and resulted in bacterial contamination of one or more food items served at the event. No single food item was identified as the definitive source of illness. Public Health Environmental Health staff helped provide educational information on safe food handling practices, as well as guidance on how to become a licensed caterer in the county.

About Salmonellosis

Salmonellosis is a bacterial infection that is often spread through the fecal-oral route, through contaminated food and water, or through contact with animals and their environments. Symptoms of salmonellosis include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, fever, chills, and abdominal cramping. Illness typically lasts several days and people can spread infection to others even after symptoms resolve.

To prevent Salmonella infection:

  • Wash hands with soap and water after going to the bathroom, changing diapers, touching animals, and before eating or preparing food.
  • Cook all meats thoroughly, especially poultry.
  • Wash cutting boards and counters used for meat or poultry preparation immediately after use to avoid cross contaminating other foods.

For more information about salmonellosis, see: