Campylobacter causes illnesses in Seattle
Sept. 1, 2017
by MEAT+POULTRY Staff
Chicken is known to be associated with Campylobacter.
SEATTLE – The Seattle and King County Public Health Dept. announced an investigation of Campylobacter
infections, the second investigation the agency has disclosed in a week.
On Aug. 30, the agency announced the most recent infections involved a private event held June 24 at which food for a party was prepared in a private home. The meal included chicken, a food item known to be associated with Campylobacter. “However, chicken was purchased pre-cooked and was cooked a second time,” the agency said. “No single food item was identified as the definitive source of illness.”
The department was notified on Aug. 10 of two individuals with lab-confirmed Campylobacter that had attended the same party. Both individuals reported “multiple other ill persons associated with the same party,” the agency said. But none of the other sick persons were interviewed to confirm illness details.
“Public Health contacted the party host to discuss what foods were served, how they were prepared, and to ensure no ongoing source of infection remained,” the agency said. “No concerns for food safety practices were identified.”
On Aug. 28, the agency disclosed an investigation into Campylobacter infections associated with a “single meal party” held June 24 at Café Juanita in Kirkland, a Seattle suburb.
“On July 24th, Public Health learned about two ill persons from a single meal party during an interview with an ill person diagnosed with Campylobacter,” the agency said. “We were not able to confirm illness information about the second ill person until August 16th. No other ill persons have been identified.”
The agency said affected individuals shared numerous food items, including foie gras. “Foie gras has been linked to other Campylobacter outbreaks in the past, particularly when eaten raw or undercooked.”
Inspectors from the agency visited Café Juanita on Aug. 17, where they observed the cooking process and checked final cooking temperature of the foie gras.
“Although it reached a safe temperature during the inspection, workers had not been using a thermometer,” the agency said. “They were instructed to use a food thermometer to ensure that all foods are reaching the correct temperatures to kill harmful bacteria that may be present. The restaurant worked cooperatively with Public Health.”
Inspectors reviewed sources and preparation steps of the other foods that the two case-patients may also have eaten during a return visit on Aug. 22.