76 Now Sick in Rhode Island Salmonella Outbreak

In the month since reports began emerging about the Rhode Island <"http://www.yourlawyer.com/practice_areas/food_poisoning">Salmonella outbreak, 76 people have fallen ill, said WPRI. The outbreak has been linked to pastries contaminated with the very dangerous Salmonella pathogen.

To date, 76 people have fallen ill with Salmonella contamination potentially linked to tainted DeFusco Bakery zeppoles. Also, to date, 46 patients have lab-confirmed cases of Salmonella poisoning—Salmonellosis—29 required hospitalization, two remain hospitalized, and two people have died. These figures are expected to continue to grow and the Health Department continues its investigation of the fatalities and the outbreak.

Meanwhile, the Rhode Island Salmonella lawsuits are also growing, and more are expected. According to an earlier WPRI report, 15 more clients from 10 families filed lawsuits on behalf of sickened family members are from three to 80 years of age.

The outbreak has been linked to zeppoles from DeFusco’s Bakery and potentially, said the Rhode Island Department of Health, to the two deaths and the growing number of illnesses and hospitalizations. Those involved in the recent 15 lawsuits are seeking monetary expenses for money spent and money likely to be spent for healthcare, as well as pain, suffering, and negligence, said WPRI previously.

Most of those interviewed regarding the outbreak reported eating a baked good from DeFusco’s, said Peter Hanney, of the health department. The bakery has been closed since March.

A release on DeFusco’s website says, “Pastry shells from DeFusco’s had been stored in used egg crates, which could have exposed the shells to infected raw eggs.” As we’ve written, the Rhode Island Department of Health (HEALTH) said the outbreak was likely caused by consumption of zeppole pastries that came in contact with raw eggs.

Egg crates taken from DeFusco’s and tested by HEALTH contained the Salmonella bacteria and unsafe food storage practices were revealed at Buono’s Bakery. Its zeppole, cream puff, and éclair shells were also stored in used egg crates, which could lead to contamination from raw eggs, said HEALTH.

American Bakery Supplies purchased zeppoles from DeFusco’s and distributed them to Roch’s Market, Meal Works, and Touch of Class Catering; Meal Works served the zeppoles at events at West Warwick Manor Senior Center, Sts. John and Paul Church, Sparrow Point, and Crescent Park Manor. Zeppoles from DeFusco’s Johnston store were sold at all DeFusco’s locations, Colvitto’s Bistro, Sal’s Bakery, and Focaccia World. All five Crugnale Bakery locations also sold DeFusco’s zeppoles.

Salmonella-contaminated food may not look or smell spoiled; however, consumption of food contaminated with the Salmonella bacteria may cause Salmonellosis. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), people infected with Salmonellosis usually experience symptoms beginning 12 to 72 hours after consuming a contaminated food or beverage. Symptoms include fever, vomiting, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea and usually last 4 to 7 days. Most recover without antibiotic treatment; however, the diarrhea can be severe, and hospitalization may be required. The elderly, infants, and those with impaired immune systems may have more serious illness and the infection may spread from the intestines to the blood stream, and then to other body sites, and can cause death unless treated promptly with antibiotics. Some 40,000 cases of Salmonellosis are reported annually in the U.S.

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