FORTY people are unwell, and 10 have been hospitalised, after it was confirmed Gawler South Bakery’s products caused a Salmonella outbreak in the weeks leading up to Christmas.
SA Health stated, yesterday, the number of confirmed cases of people eating products from the bakery’s fresh food section between December 14 and 22, and becoming ill, had more than doubled since the public was first notified on Friday.
“The source of the contamination has been linked to filled sandwiches, wraps, rolls and focaccias made and sold at Gawler South Bakery,” SA Health public health director Dr Kevin Buckett said.
“We’ve now seen cases in people aged two-years-old up to 70-years-old and we are anticipating more cases as further test results come through.
“SA Health food safety inspectors, along with the local council, returned to the business (on Tuesday).
“While Salmonella wasn’t detected in the food and environmental samples taken from the bakery last week, this isn’t unusual, as the source of the contamination has often passed by the time we identify a common link between cases.”
The Bunyip has heard from a number of affected customers, some of whom said the illness soured their Christmas holiday period.
Speaking to The Bunyip, Gawler South Bakery’s management said the bakery has been a major part of the community for 50 years, and after engaging with SA Health, staff have implemented a umber of changes to ensure no further incidents occur in the future.
Management said the bakery had also passed the improvement notice issued for its Adelaide Road site, but staff will continue to work closely with SA Health.
“(Tuesday) morning, we had SA Health monitor all of our salad bar procedures to ensure that correct handling and food preparation take place, of which they are happy with,” management said.
“We will, however, invest in an updated salad bar to ensure correct temperature is maintained prior to reopening this.
“We also will be receiving in (to the store) cooked chicken from a new supplier, to ensure the quality is meeting health standards.
“None of this helps the people and families that have been effected and we sincerely apologise for this and are deeply distressed by this incident.”
Last Friday, Dr Buckett said the outbreak was the second time in “about” a year that the bakery had been investigated for its products causing Salmonella.
“I am aware that there has been some people come down with Salmonella having eaten products from the bakery in the past… I am aware that we were notified of eight cases.
“It is not something that SA Health investigated at the time…(but) was investigated by the local authorities, the local Gawler Council.
“The fact that it is a year apart, and it is a very busy bakery, it does indicate that, perhaps, when it is a busy time of year, they are making mistakes and that is something that we will be working with the proprietors to make sure… doesn’t happen.”