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Salmonella Food poisoning outbreak in Al-Ahsa Governorate, Saudi Arabia July 2010 (1431).


By morning of Thursday 19/7/1431H (1/7/2010AD) a total of 33 patients attended to Al-Jafur General Hospital in Al-Ahsa governorate complaining of gastrointestinal symptoms after eating at a restaurant in Al-Jubail village. We started an investigation to identify the food item responsible for the outbreak and determine the source of infection.


We conducted an interview based case control study. A case was defined as any person who ate at the restaurant between Wednesday and Thursday noon (18-19/7/1431H) and developed gastrointestinal illness. A control was defined as any person who ate at the same restaurant at the same period and did not develop gastrointestinal illness. A sample size of 33 cases and 67 controls were taken. Samples were taken from food handlers and patients for culture.


Out of 33 cases, (97%) presented with abdominal pain, (90.9%) developed diarrhea, (78.8%) developed fever, (75.8%) developed vomiting and10 (30.3%) developed nausea. Meat kabab had the highest odds ratio (OR=22.96) (95% C.I = 4.73-151.65), while other food items showed no association. The samples that were taken from the restaurant food handlers were normal. Serotype of salmonella was isolated from 8 patients.


The study showed that, this outbreak was caused by salmonella spp. and meat kabab was the most probable implicated food.