01:46 pm, Wednesday 28 March, 2007
Article from: AAP
FOURTEEN people have been stricken with salmonella poisoning in Tasmania’s northwest, two of them requiring hospital treatment.
Tasmania’s health authorities said they were investigating following the food poisoning outbreak over the past fortnight.
All of those affected are now recovering from the bacteria, which attacks the stomach and intestines, causing gastro-enteritis, with symptoms including nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea and abdominal pain.
A bakery at Somerset in the state’s northwest temporarily closed for business on Monday after some of the victims said they had eaten its products.
VJ’s Bakery owner Peter Shaw said he thought eggs were the likely source of the bacteria, The Advocate reported today.
“Because we are food manufacturers, we have decided to temporarily close down as a precaution,” the Advocate quoted him as saying.
“The possibility is that something is contaminated, but it’s not something we’ve done directly,” he said.
Tasmania’s Director of Public Health Dr Roscoe Taylor said test results had confirmed 14 people were affected, two of whom had been treated in hospital for dehydration.
Salmonella can cause severe dehydration in infants and the elderly and patients are advised to see a doctor if symptoms persist.
Dr Taylor said the bakery had suspended operations pending further investigations into the cause and were helping with investigations.
But he said: “The investigations cover other businesses in the area as well as food suppliers from elsewhere in Tasmania”.
The Public and Environmental Health Service (PEHS) was alerted last week and contacted all GPs in the area on Friday asking for tests on anyone reporting symptoms of gastro-enteritis.
Dr Taylor said the PEHS was investigating with help from the Waratah-Wynyard Council.
Salmonella is a notifiable disease under the Public Health Act and all cases are followed up to determine if any foods are implicated.