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Final report confirms outside source for food poisoning at SPH

    The State of Alaska Section of Epidemiology released its final report on the foodborne illness that struck several dozen South Peninsula Hospital Employees in early August when they ate tainted take-out food. 

The report confirms preliminary findings that the outbreak was limited to food prepared specifically for SPH by an outside vendor, and that there was no transmission to the public at large or to hospital patients.

    The report also found that one bacterium (Clostridium perfringens) present in the ham and pork sandwiches was responsible for the outbreak. Another bacterium (Bacillus cereus) was found in the broccoli salad, but was not present in levels hazardous to humans.

    The 66 hospital employees who fell ill with acute gastro-intestinal symptoms, did so mostly within eight hours of lunch, but a few didn’t get symptoms until the next afternoon or early the next morning. One person sought medical attention, but none were hospitalized.

    The report did not name the food vendor, but state health inspectors report that when they visited the kitchen, they found no clear deficiencies in food storage, processing or handling. The report said the company cooperated fully with the investigation and reviewed its food handling and storage procedures. 

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