MICROBIO: Microbiological terrorism by a religious group

Fri, 29 Aug 1997 17:47:31 -0400 (EDT)

I thought this might interest those of you who are the investigators,
microbiologists and epidemiologists.
Intentional microbiological food contamination is extremely rare, but it does
In 1984, at "The Dalles," Oregon, 751 people who ate in ten restaurants
became ill with _Salmonella_ food poisoning.

After local health department epidemiologists began receiving an inordinate
amount of complaints of food poisoning, an investigation was launched. See:
_A Large Community Outbreak of Salmonellosis Caused by Intentional
Contamination of Restaurant Salad Bars_, Torok TJ, et al. The investigators
looked into the health of restaurant employees, the town water supply, and
the food suppliers the restaurants used, yet no common factor could be found.

A year later, the investigators had enough information to link a religious
commune to the outbreak. The group had contaminated salad bar fixings and
coffee creamers at the restaurants with a strain of _Salmonella_ bacteria in
the hope of keeping voters away from polling booths on election day; one of
the items on the ballot could have negatively affected the commune.

Davin C. Enigl, MEAS, Master of Environmental Arts and Sciences
President-Microbiologist, HACCP Validations (tm). Quality Assurance, Quality
Control, Research and Development

Co-author of _Preservative-Free and Self-Preserving Cosmetics and Drugs_,
Kabara and Orth, eds. Copyright 1997,
Marcel-Dekker, ISBN 0-8247-9366-8, Telephone: 1-800-228-1160

Microbiology Services for: Biotechnology, Cosmetics, Foods, and

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August 29, 1997
2:39 pm PACIFIC