Boise & Garden City

Salmonella outbreak possibly linked to Boise Co-op

About 30 people tested positive for salmonella since Monday, according to Central District Health Department.

Through the investigation CDHD found the nearly 30 people who tested positive for salmonella had eaten at the Boise Co-op.

“That's the common denominator: that they ate at the Co-op,” said Christine Myron, spokesperson for CDHD.

A few additional cases reported to the CDHD were not connected to the store. The Co-op and CDHD are working together to determine how salmonella could have contaminated a food source, according to CDHD.

The CDHD took samples from produce, meat and the food service area to find the source. They’re focusing on the deli area, since it’s been the common link in reported cases, Myron said.

It could take up to two weeks to determine if those samples are indeed connected to the outbreak, she said.

Most of the salmonella cases were reported earlier in the week, so the CDHD believe the consumption of contaminated food occurred between June 1 and 7, Myron said.

The Co-op put out a statement Saturday declaring the CDHD found no health code violation.

In these investigations, the CDHD doesn’t cite violations, but does provide recommendations to improve food safety practices, Myron said.

“I understand they've been very compliant,” she said.

The co-op did voluntarily dispose of a few food items after the CDHD investigations, Myron said.

Salmonella is spread via contaminated food and causes diarrhea, abdominal pain, fever and occasionally vomiting. Symptoms usually show up 12 to 72 hours after consuming contaminated food. Children, people with weakened immune systems and the elderly will experience more severe symptoms. Commonly contaminated foods would be poultry, eggs, raw meat, seafood, fruits and vegetables, according to the CDHD.

People who may be experiencing these symptoms should go to their health care provider and stay home to prevent infecting others. They can also report their illness to CDHD.