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Salmonella outbreak in Minneapolis tied to pork

When people speak of quality of life, they often mean amenities, like good roads and schools, nice neighborhoods, great restaurants and a thriving arts community. However, many of the most important items that allow for a high quality of life involve a healthy food and water supply. Most Minnesotans and most Americans take for granted the food they buy in stores and restaurants is safe and will not make them sick.

Unfortunately, we keep reading in the news about outbreaks of various types of food that has been contaminated with bacteria or viruses. Last week in Minneapolis, it was confirmed that a "likely initial source" of salmonella was roasted pork that had been sold during a street festival. 

The defective product was pork, according to the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, apparently already contained some levels of salmonella when it was purchased by the eventual seller. Part of the problem may have been due to the fact that the pork was purchased at retail, and then resold, which is illegal.

The preparation of the pork for the festival was describes as a "multi-hour process." When the temperature of food is insufficient to kill off bacteria, holding the food for extended periods allows the bacteria to incubate and rapidly grow.

The investigators suspect the meat then cross contaminated other food it come in contact with at the festival. The business has been fined the Department and has since closed. At least 80 people were made ill by the food during the festival held in August. 

Source: Star Tribune, "Pork likely source of salmonella outbreak at Ecuadorian festival," Alejandra Matos, October 24, 2013

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