Course Project Part 8 Scenario
The descriptive epidemiology you have performed thus far has provided clues to the causative conditions
in the Eastern Adult Training Center (EATC) outbreak. But you have not definitively discovered the agent
or the environmental conditions causing illness. To summarize the first three days of the investigation and
findings, you know the follow:
The EATC has 31 residents who complained of symptoms consistent with a gastrointestinal (GI)
An Epidemic curve was created to illustrate the onset of symptoms
The preliminary laboratory results on six of the seven raw stool samples are positive
forClostridium perfringens (C. perfringens).
All symptoms of the ill residents have resolved
There is one death possibly associated with the outbreak
Samples of suspected high-risk food were sent to the laboratory for testing
A surveillance system was established to find additional cases
You have established a case definition.
You have created a hypothesis for the cause of the outbreak
EATC Investigation Update – Day 4
Due to the concern with the long delay between food preparation, delivery and consumption
(could be up to 45 minutes to one hour for some cottages), a food temperature study found the
food trays did not hold hot food temperatures at an adequate level to prevent the growth of
One day prior to the hypothesized exposure period (two days before illness onset) kitchen staff
cooked a pork shoulder, cooled it overnight, chopped the pork and mixed BBQ sauce with most
of the meat. It was determined the food was not prepared while maintaining appropriate safe food
On the afternoon of the first illness onset the chopped pork was heated to 350o F for three hours
Some trays of BBQ were placed on the steam line for serving. Temperatures were not regularly
checked as required by the food safety code. Other trays were placed in a warmer.
When the initial trays of BBQ became empty they were replaced with BBQ trays stored in the
warmer. The kitchen supervisor noticed the BBQ “did not look right” so he heated the BBQ on the
steam server line to 165o F and served the BBQ to the residents.
The food supplier of the pork shoulder did not render any food recalls or warnings for this item.
The frozen food samples submitted for laboratory testing were not positive for C. perfringens.
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