In an update to the salmonella outbreak in Washington state linked to pork products, state health officials say the outbreak has expanded to 134 cases in 10 counties. This is up from 90 cases reported about two weeks ago.
The 134 cases include residents of Clark (2), Cowlitz (1), Grays Harbor (1), King (84), Kitsap (1), Mason (2), Pierce (12), Snohomish (24), Thurston (2), and Yakima (5) counties.
Exposure for many of the ill people apparently was whole roasted pigs, served at private events and restaurants.
Disease investigators from the Washington State Department of Health, Public Health — Seattle & King County and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are searching for possible contamination and exposure sources from a wide range of possible venues, including restaurants, markets, slaughter facilities, and farms/ranches.
Most of the illnesses have been confirmed with the outbreak strain of Salmonella bacteria, and early testing shows a connection to a slaughter facility in Graham, WA. Samples were collected at Kapowsin Meats in Pierce County last week. Testing confirms the outbreak strain was present. The business, which is regulated by the United States Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service, has cooperated with the investigation. There may be other sources and disease investigators are searching for the origin of the Salmonella bacteria in the outbreak.
Salmonella bacteria are commonly found in animals used for food, and proper storage, handling, preparation, and cooking can help prevent the illness known as salmonellosis.