Public Health officials have confirmed that three separate North Dakota Salmonella outbreaks are indeed linked to the same unlicensed caterer. More than 50 individuals were sickened at two weddings and a family reunion this past June. At least nine people required hospitalization, with two requiring intensive care treatment.
Kirby Kruger, state epidemiologist with the North Dakota Department of Health, has announced that shredded beef and pasta salad served at the June 20 wedding have tested positive for Salmonella.
Taco meat from the June 13 wedding also tested positive for the same Salmonella strain.
Salmonella serotype Montevideo, the strain responsible for the outbreak is commonly found in baby chickens. The caterer, coincidentally, has chicks on her farm.
When using a caterer at a special event such as a wedding, be sure to confirm they are licensed in accordance with your state’s laws. Remember that they will be cooking and serving food to your guests, so it is essential to ask to see his or her license or call their local public health unit or the state health department to verify licensure.