Our law firm is investigating a Salmonella Enteritidis outbreak associated with Old Country Buffet in Maple Grove, Minnesota. The specific food responsible for the cluster of Salmonella infections (salmonellosis) has not been determined.
Our team of Salmonella lawyers are looking at whether there is a connection with a nationally distributed product. If so, there may be illnesses associated with other locations in Minnesota and other states.
The Minnesota Department of Health is collecting food and environmental samples from the Maple Grove Old Country Buffet for testing. Environmental samples can include swabs from utensils, equipment, countertops, appliances and other surfaces. These samples are tested for the presence of Salmonella bacteria. If present, further testing is done to determine the type of Salmonella (the outbreak type is Enteritidis) and to find the genetic “fingerprint” of the bacteria. Genetic fingerprinting of Salmonella bacteria is done with pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE), a process that uses enzymes to break apart the DNA and separate the pieces by size. The pattern that emerges is known as a PFGE pattern. Salmonella isolates from patient stool samples is also tested in this way. If PFGE patterns from the Maple Grove restaurant match PFGE patterns of those sickened, it is solid evidence that food from the restaurant caused the outbreak.