8 confirmed salmonella cases in Limestone County
LIMESTONE COUNTY, AL (WAFF) - The Athens-Limestone Hospital is dealing with a possible salmonella outbreak. Many people are being treated at the hospital for symptoms possibly from food poisoning by salmonella.
Hospital officials have confirmed eight cases of salmonella. According to the Limestone County Health Department, all indications point to a Bean Day lunch hosted by the Limestone County Foundation on Aging in Athens.
Limestone County Sheriff Mike Blakely said Bean Day organizers gave the county jail five pots of the remaining beans to feed the prisoners. According to Sheriff Blakely, the jail cook realized the beans were tainted when he received them and didn't let the prisoners eat them.
"He had actually dipped in to them and got a piece of ham out that he attempted to eat. That's when he noticed there was something wrong with them. Apparently, they had started fermenting and turned sour. Luckily, he realized that and disposed of them and put them in the dumpster so we didn't get anybody sick," said Sheriff Blakely.
The state health department has not confirmed if this outbreak is salmonella. A state health investigator went to Athens to try to learn more.
Hospital officials said 45 patients with symptoms have been treated, five were hospitalized. Hospital officials have said they have stopped testing all patients and are now treating patients with symptoms under the assumption that they do indeed have salmonella poisoning.
A sample from the Bean Day event is in the process of being tested by the state health department.
Officials warn that if you think you have symptoms of salmonella and went to Bean Day, you should seek out medical assistance immediately.
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