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SPH staff hit with food poisoning

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Image Courtesy of the Department of Health and Social Services
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    The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services is investigating a foodborne illness outbreak in Homer. So far, more than 70 employees of South Peninsula Hospital have been identified with gastrointestinal illness. 

    At this time, DHSS says the exact source of the outbreak is unknown, but that all employees who fell ill consumed food brought into the hospital from several local Homer food establishments. The hospital was forced to resort to outside food on several days last week due to staff shortages in the hospital kitchen. The DHSS says no patients or long-term residents consumed the suspect food.

Symptoms involved in the outbreak have primarily been diarrhea and stomach cramps, which resolved quickly. Most people experiencing symptoms reported that they began to feel ill Thursday evening through Friday morning. Fever was not one of the main symptoms reported.

The outbreak is being investigated by the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services Section of Epidemiology in coordination with the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation Food Safety and Sanitation Program.

The DHSS is encouraging anyone who experienced foodborne illness symptoms and have been in the Homer area in the past week, to fill out a foodborne illness survey online. https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Q2LNKB2

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