In September 1974, the largest outbreak of foodborne salmonellosis ever reported to the Center for Disease Control - affecting an estimated 3,400 persons - occurred on the Navajo Nation Indian Reservation. The responsible agent was Salmonella newport and the vehicle of transmission was potato salad served to an estimated 11,000 persons at a free barbecue. The cooked ingredients of the potato salad had been stored for up to 16 hours at improper holding temperatures. The magnitude of the outbreak allowed the authors to study secondary transmission by calculating the rates of diarrheal illness during the 2 weeks following the outbreak in persons who did not attend the barbecue and by examining the results of stool cultures obtained after the outbreak. They found no secondary transmission. The authors conclude that a health official should monitor food preparation and service at large social gatherings and that person-to-person transmission of salmonellosis probably does not normally occur even in settings considered highly conductive to cross-infection.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health