Chorizo Possible Source of Las Vegas’s Firefly Salmonella Outbreak
Illness count jumps to 294
Food Safety News
BY GRETCHEN GOETZ | MAY 22, 2013
Epidemiologists think they have found the source of a Salmonella outbreak linked to Las Vegas’s Firefly restaurant that is now known to have sickened at least 294 people – almost 100 more illnesses than health officials previously reported.
The Southern Nevada Health District announced Wednesday that the outbreak strain of Salmonella had been found in a sample of cooked chorizo collected from the tapas-style restaurant.
It is unclear how the chorizo became contaminated, but health officials say the meat likely came into contact with the bacteria at the restaurant, not before it arrived.
Nevertheless, “Trace-back efforts have been redirected at the chorizo products due to a small possibility that raw chorizo was contaminated prior to arriving at Firefly,” said SNHD in its third interim outbreak report, issued Wednesday.
According to the health department, the bacteria sickened 290 patrons of the restaurant and 4 workers. Of these cases, 73 have been confirmed part of the outbreak by DNA testing. The 221 others are considered probable.
The first reported illnesses began on April 22, and the last victim fell ill May 1. All identified victims reported dining at the restaurant between April 21 and April 26.
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More on this outbreak: Firefly Restaurant Salmonella Outbreak