The Virginia Department of Health said this week that it has traced a Salmonella outbreak of 180 illnesses to clam chowder made by the Crab Shack of Chincoteague. The outbreak has its roots in the Chincoteague Chili Chowder Cook Off held Sept. 30.
The Division of Consolidated Laboratory Services (DCLS) in Richmond has identified Salmonella javiana in a sample of Crab Shack clam chowder that was obtained from an attendee served during the event.
Accomack County health officials are addressing issues that may have contributed to the Salmonella outbreak by engaging event sponsors and vendors. The laboratory analysis continues, as does analysis of the survey results. A final epidemiologic field report is expected by the end of November.
Of the 180 reported illnesses, approximately 90 of those who took ill sought medical care, and 36 of those received emergency-room care. In addition, 18 people were hospitalized for one or more nights. No deaths have been reported with this outbreak.
What is Salmonella?
According to the CDC, Salmonella bacteria are responsible for as many as 1 million foodborne illnesses in the United States on a yearly basis. The bacteria results in an illness called Salmonellosis affects the intestinal tract. It is one of the most common types of food poisoning year in and year out.
Salmonellosis can develop anywhere from 12 hours to three days after consumption of food contaminated with Salmonella. As with most types of foodborne pathogens, symptoms can include:
- abdominal pain
Most people recover without treatment, but in some cases, the diarrhea can be so severe that hospitalization is required.
The CDC estimates that of those 1 million annual cases of infection, 19,000 result in hospitalization, and approximately 380 end in death. People most at risk for complications are children under the age of 5, pregnant women, the elderly, and those with compromised immune systems.
Elliot Olsen has decades of experience representing people harmed by foodborne pathogens, and he has regained millions of dollars in compensation for those victims. If you or a family member has become sick because of this outbreak, please call him at 612-337-6126, or complete the following: