October 13, 2008: Alaska Campylobacteriosis Outbreak Linked To Eating Peas and Bird Poop

The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, Section of Epidemiology, reported that a Campylobacter jejuni food poisoning outbreak that occurred earlier this summer has been linked to eating uncooked Alaska grown peas. ...

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Molecular analysis (DNA fingerprinting) revealed a match between Campylobacter isolates obtained from sickened individuals, the Alaska grown peas, and Sandhill Crane feces collected from the farm area (large numbers of Cranes had been observed feeding in the pea fields). 

An investigation of the suspected Alaska pea farm revealed a lack of chlorine in the pea-processing water, which most likely allowed Campylobacter bacteria (from Sandhill Crane feces) to survive on the shelled peas during processing and packaging.  In other words, the peas were packaged along with bacteria found in bird poop.  

To date, 99 people have reported becoming ill within 10 days of eating the raw peas grown in Alaska. Fifty-four had laboratory confirmed cases of Campylobacteriosis. Ages ranged from 1–79 years, and 76% were Anchorage or Eagle River residents. Five people were hospitalized, and one later developed Guillain-Barre Syndrome.  To learn more about Campylobacter food poisoning, please see Campylobacteriosis Symptoms. 

The outbreak of Campylobacteriosis, which occurred in South-central Alaska, was first reported to state health officials on August 21.  According to the Alaska Section of Epidemiology, anyone who experienced diarrhea after eating Alaska grown peas since August 1, should call 1-877-469-8067 to report their illness. 

The Law Firm of Eric Weinberg represents victims of food poisoning outbreaks throughout the country. If you believe that you are the victim of a foodborne illness, please call us toll free at 1-877-934-6274, or click on Free Case Evaluation.  To return to the homepage, please click Food Poisoning Attorney. 

To learn more about recent food recalls, outbreaks, and legal news, please see Illinois E. coli Lettuce, Michigan E. coli Lettuce, Vermont E. coli, and Salmonella IHOPTo learn more about the Law Firm of Eric Weinberg, please see NJ Medical Malpractice Lawyer.

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