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Six Get Food Poisoning at Newport Beach Restaurant

Shigella boydii

Shigella boydii (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Six people experienced the symptoms of food poisoning after eating at Newport Beach restaurant True Food Kitchen, reported the Orange County Register. After eating at the Fashion Island restaurant, which offers plant-based and other health-oriented options, on August 21, 23, 24, and 25, the diners came down with severe diarrhea and tested positive for the intestinal bacteria shigella. Investigators suspect the bacteria was passed from ‘person to person,’ as none of the victims ate the same dish. The county shut down True Food Kitchen on August 28, allowing it to reopen last Saturday after it sanitized the restaurant and disposed of all ready-to-eat foods. Replacement staff will be serving diners until all regular employees are tested and cleared to return to work.

Shigellosis as a Cause of Food Poisoning

An infectious disease caused by a group of bacteria called Shigella, Shigellosis causes diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps a day or two after victims become infected. Symptoms usually last for 5 to 7 days, and hospitalization is rarely necessary for cases in the United States. Antibiotic treatment is only necessary when patients are already suffering from severe disease or compromised immune systems. Not all victims experience symptoms and may unknowingly spread the bacteria to others.

While about 14,000 cases of shigellosis are reported annually in the U.S., the number of infections may be twenty times greater than this because milder cases are seldom diagnosed or reported, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Poor hygiene is often a cause of shigellosis, especially in child-care settings. Toddlers aged 2 to 4 are most likely to become infected, and infections are more common in summer than in winter.

Washing hands with soap carefully and frequently-especially after using the restroom or changing diapers-and ensuring children do the same is an effective way to prevent the spread of shigellosis-associated food poisoning.

Where to Report Food Poisoning in Orange County

Those experiencing the symptoms of food poisoning may report their cases to the Orange County Environmental Health Department by calling 714-433-6418 or filing a complaint online.

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