Event Update - The Thunder Bay District Health Unit has confirmed through laboratory tests that turkey was the food that caused 34 people to become sick after eating a Christmas meal at the Slovak Legion on December 14, 2010. Clostridium perfringens has been identified as the bacteria that caused the illnesses. It was found in the cooked turkey sample and stool samples that were submitted for testing.
The resulting bacterial infection was characterized by sudden onset of diarrhea and nausea. This bacteria is naturally found in soil and the gastrointestinal tract of healthy humans and animals. It is transmitted to people by eating food contaminated with soil or feces, and then held at temperatures that encourage the bacteria to multiply. See Hazard Details tab for more information.
Almost all food-related outbreaks are associated with inadequately cooled or reheated meals such as turkey dinners. Outbreaks are usually traced to large-scale food premises.
To prevent food-related illness:
•Educate food handlers on correct food safety practices
•Serve meat dishes hot, or as soon as they are cooked
•Do not partially cook meat and poultry one day and reheat the next
•Divide large amounts of food into smaller containers to allow rapid cooling
For food safety information, call the TBDHU at 625-5930 or visit tbdhu.com/EH/foodsafety