Public health believe hummus and chicken cause of salmonella outbreak

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Barakat restaurant has reopened

Lambton Public Health suspects hummus and chicken were the likely causes of a salmonella outbreak at a Sarnia restaurant and a Corunna food truck.

Dr. Sudit Ranade says there were 45 lab confirmed cases linked to people eating at Barakat and 180 people were ill. Nine had to be hospitalized.

Thursday, public health declared the outbreak over and the restaurant reopened.

Working with Public Health Ontario and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, public health found the majority of the cases had a type of salmonella usually associated with poultry and chicken. But the customers reported eating a dish with hummus.

“So, we sent out a number of samples of different things that could have been in contaminated with salmonella,” says Ranade. “And only one dish came back with sort of preliminary results that they weren’t conclusive, and that was hummus.

“It’s hard for us to say it was totally for sure the hummus because it’s typical of the sub type of salmonella that it’s more likely associated with chicken. And so that’s why we think that there was probably some of what we call cross contamination.”

“This is one of those and so we won’t know with 100 per cent certainty what it was. But we’re fairly certain that there’s no more ongoing risk related to that outbreak or that set of food products.”

Ranade says public health worked with the restaurant to reopen. The restaurant reopened Thursday.