E. coli outbreak at Mayo prisonby Dara Kam | June 8th, 2009
It could have been the turkey or ham that caused an E. coli outbreak at a Florida prison last month.
Forty-two inmates at Mayo Correctional Institution reported gastric problems traced to a May 17 meal consisting of turkey, ham, mac and cheese, cole slaw, corn bread, navy beans and cake, Department of Corrections officials confirmed today.
Eleven stool samples were tested and of those two confirmed cases of E. coli food poisoning, department spokeswoman Jo Ellyn Rackleff said.
Department of Health officials believe an ill food services worker may be the source of the contamination, she said. DOH is conducting an investigation, spokeswoman Susan Smith said.
Corrections officials canceled contracts with private vendors to provide food services for the state’s prisons last year and are now preparing and serving meals in-house. The vendor that now supplies the prisons is Lakeland-based U.S. Foodservice.
E. coli is a bacteria that causes severe abdominal cramping followed by diarrhea and bloody stools. The highly contagious germ can be passed from person to person, especially if someone infected with the infection touches food. The best way to prevent the spread of the germ is by hand washing after going to the bathroom.
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