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Jambalaya Caused Salmonella Outbreak In Louisiana

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An outbreak of salmonella in Louisiana is being chalked up to chicken and sausage jambalaya served at a softball team’s fundraising event.

The salmonella has made dozens of people sick, and killed at least one person, the state’s health department said on Thursday. The dish was sold on Monday, and at least 49 people fell ill. Of them, 31 were hospitalized, according to Department of Health spokeswoman Samantha Hartmann, CBS News reports.

A statement from the department said,

The ages of those with a confirmed illness range from 15 years old to 70.

Doctors anticipate more patients to come in, as over 300 plates of jambalaya were sold at the fundraiser. Salmonella manifests via a gastrointestinal sickness around a week after people have ingested contaminated food.

The fundraiser was held in Columbia, a small town with a population of about 400, which holds the Caldwell Parish seat. Many local businesses were short-staffed due to the outbreak, according to Mayor Richard Meredith. He added, “I’ve never seen anything like it. It’s affected a lot of people, maybe a couple of hundred from my best estimation.”

Drew Keahey, a Caldwell Parish farmer, president of the Tensas Parish Levee District board and a director of Homeland Bank, mentioned that over ten bank workers had to leave on Tuesday. “Everybody knows somebody who is sick,” Keahey said.

The health department advised that all uneaten jambalaya be thrown away, including side dishes and any other leftover food. Samples taken from five people tested positive for salmonella, and an autopsy on the person who died will soon establish whether or not the same caused the fatality.

Salmonella causes around one million food-borne illnesses in the United States yearly, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Symptoms include diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps, and the sickness can last up to seven days. Most patients recover without treatment, but hospitalization may be required if symptoms are severe.


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