The Iowa Department of Public Health is reporting another outbreak of food-related illness. Ann Garvey is the Deputy State Epidemiologist.
“We’ve had 26 cases of a specific type of salmonella reported over the last couple of months. Normally we see three to four cases of this type of salmonella each year. So, we’re definately seeing and increase,” Garvey says “The cases are spread across different areas of our state, they don’t seem to one specific location.”
Cerro Gordo County reporte the most cases at four, and there were reports of three cases each in Polk and Webster counties. All of the other counties each reported one case.
“This type of salmonella has been associated with improper cooking of poultry and eggs. And so, we just want to remind folks to take those added (safety) measures –especially in these summer months — when they are cooking egs and chicken,” Gary says. “Some things to remember are that chicken should be cooked to an internal termperature of 165-degrees, and when you are making things with eggs — like potato salads — you want to be sure those eggs are cooked thoroughly.”
While the strain of salmonella has been linked to chicken and eggs, they haven’t narrowed down any other link between the cases.
Garvey says,”We’re investigating cases as they’re reported to us, and we haven’t seen any common event or common product.”
The salmonella cases come as the Health Department is trying to find the cause of an outbreak of the normally rare cyclospora in Iowa and other states. Garvey says there’s no connection between the two.
“They are completely different illnesses. Salmonella is caused by bacteria and it does cause diarhea like cyclospora, but there is no link between the two illnesses — completely different things,” according to Garvey. Cyclospora is caused by a parasite that is often carried by tainted fruits or vegetables.
You can find out more about food-borne illnesses and how to prevent them at the Iowa Department of Public Health’s website: www.idph.state.ia.us/Cade/Foodborne.aspx.
The counties that have reported cases of salmonella are: Allamakee (1), Black Hawk (1), Buena Vista (1), Cerro Gordo (4), Des Moines (1), Humboldt (1), Jasper (1), Kossuth (1), Madison (1), Mahaska (1), Marshall (1), Muscatine (1), Polk (3), Scott (1), Sioux (1), Story (1), Union (1), Webster (3), Woodbury (1).