How a Salmonella outbreak ravaged a Michigan restaurant for 11 years

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A Michigan restaurant was the source of an unusual Salmonella outbreak that lasted more than a decade, according to a new report.

Finding the source of this prolonged outbreak, which infected some three dozen people over 11 years, proved difficult, according to the report, published Thursday (Aug. 19) in the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) journal Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Usually, health officials can trace a foodborne illness outbreak to a single food product that’s contaminated or not properly prepared. But in this case, officials determined that the outbreak was due to a “complex association” between the restaurant facility and the employees who worked there. Specifically, the facility itself was found to be contaminated, and some employees harbored the pathogen without showing symptoms, officials found.

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