5 cases of salmonella confirmed in west Alabama

7/12/2013 3:00 PM
By Associated Press

YORK, Ala. (AP) — Alabama health officials have confirmed five people became ill from salmonella after eating a meal at a funeral in west Alabama.

The Alabama Department of Public Health said more than 100 people from several states attended the funeral July 6 at Eastern Star Baptist Church in York and ate a meal after the funeral. Health officials said a foodborne illness has affected at least 67 of them. The illness caused people to be hospitalized in at least 10 states: Alabama, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri and Oklahoma.

The health department said several people remain hospitalized, with some in serious condition.

The assistant state health officer for disease control, Dr. Mary McIntyre, said about eight more of the people who became ill are being tested. If their cases show salmonella, there is no need to test everyone, she said.

She said preliminary findings from the investigation suggest the illness was caused by cross-contamination during food preparation. She said salmonella is commonly found in raw and undercooked meat and eggs, and the cross-contamination could have occurred if the same cutting board or counter was used to prepare raw meats and fruits and vegetables.

The physician said anyone who attended the event and became ill should contact a physician.

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