Outbreak of Gastroenteritis Due to Salmonella enteritidis From Locally Produced Grade A Eggs, South Carolina

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Recent investigations of outbreaks of Salmonella enteritidis gastroenteritis among humans, especially in the northeastern United States, implicate grade A shell chicken eggs as the likely vehicle of transmission. In April 1991 we investigated an outbreak of S enteritidis infections after a wedding anniversary celebration in Beaufort, South Carolina. Sixty-eight percent of persons who ate a macaroni and cheese dish, but none of the 16 attendees who did not, became ill (P<.001). The chef used six grade A eggs in the macaroni and cheese and may have undercooked it. The egg supplier processed eggs exclusively from farms in South Carolina and North Carolina. This outbreak suggests that the epidemic of S enteritidis in flocks of laying hens and the consequent threat of human infection has spread to the Carolinas.

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