Gold Dust West Salmonella Outbreak
As of March 15, seventeen cases of Salmonella linked to The Grille at Gold Dust West have been reported in Elko, Nevada by the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services. The Office of Public Health Investigations and Epidemiology received 12 Salmonella positive laboratory reports between March 8 and March 10, 2019. The Environmental Health Section (EHS) was notified of the rise in Salmonella reports. By March 11, 2019, five interviews were completed. In all five cases those interviewed reported consuming “sunny side up” eggs at The Grille at Gold Dust West. EHS inspected the restaurant that same day.
At the inspection, environmental health officials interviewed employees and managers. Any employees suspected of illness were excluded from further work and required to submit a stool sample for testing. Some employees were found to be infected with Salmonella. Food and environmental surface samples were collected from the restaurant, as well. The EHS team found that hazardous foods were incorrectly stored, that thermometers were not available where necessary, that sanitizing materials were not properly prepared, that utensils were not properly stored, and that mold was growing in the ice machine. After their inspection, the EHS team required the restaurant to cease serving “sunny side up” eggs.
In a visit on March 12, the EHS team learned that most eggs received in the first week of March were used up. Eggs received on March 8 were put on a hold order, and the EHS team collected 19 dozen egg samples on March 13 for testing. No Salmonella was detected in the egg samples. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was notified and helped the EHS team in the environmental onsite investigation. Of 107 samples collected and analyzed, no Salmonella was detected in testing. Whole genome sequencing confirmed that cases were infected with Salmonella Typhimurium, and 18 of the specimens collected had matching PFGE patterns.
This Salmonella outbreak (outbreak code: 1903NVJPX-1) associated with The Grille at Gold Dust West located in Elko, Nevada included a total of 38 cases of Salmonella, 29 of whom were laboratory confirmed, who developed symptoms within 72 hours of eating or working at The Grill at Gold Dust West between February 26 and March 10, 2019. Of the 38 cases, 66 percent were male. Age range was 1 to 82 years old, with a median of 49 years old. The first identified exposure occurred on February 26, and the last identified exposure occurred on March 10. A case-control study was performed to assess possible exposures. The “American Breakfast” menu item appeared to be the most significant exposure among cases. Thus, egg consumption at this restaurant was considered the most likely exposure for cases.