Salmonella outbreak linked to cafe; mushroom poisonings also reported


More than 30 people have fallen ill from Salmonella poisoning in a suburb of Melbourne, Australia.

Officials are investigating a link to Lincoln Bakery Café in Carlton. The shop was closed on May 8.

A total of 36 people who are thought to have eaten there before onset of symptoms are affected with enquiries ongoing to find the source of illness.

Local media reported the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services and City of Melbourne council are investigating the outbreak by interviewing those who are ill, testing food samples and looking at food handling practices at the café.

Most people infected with Salmonella develop signs and symptoms 12 to 72 hours after being exposed to the bacteria. They can include diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps. In some people, diarrhea may be so severe that they need to be hospitalized.

Illness usually lasts about a week or less in healthy adults, but other groups are at a higher risk of developing serious infections and complications. High-risk people include children younger than 5 years, adults older than 65, and people with weakened immune systems, such as cancer patients, transplant recipients and HIV patients.

Wild mushroom warning
Meanwhile, Dr. Angie Bone, deputy chief health officer in Victoria, has warned about poisonous Death Cap and Yellow-staining mushrooms growing around the state due to recent heavy rain.

The poisonous amanita phalloides is also known as the death cap mushroom.

A number of serious mushroom poisonings have occurred in the past two weeks. She urged people not to pick and eat wild mushrooms in Victoria unless they were an expert. Cooking, peeling or drying them does not remove the poison. The Victorian Poisons Information Centre received 226 calls about mushrooms in 2018.

Eating one Death Cap mushroom can kill an adult. Symptoms of poisoning can include violent stomach pains, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Symptoms may subside after one or two days but serious liver damage may have occurred that may result in death.

Consuming Yellow-staining mushrooms causes nausea, stomach cramps, diarrhea and vomiting. Severity of symptoms varies with the amount eaten.

In South Australia, around two-thirds of calls to a poisons information hotline about mushroom poisoning involve children under five years old, with 21 of the 30 calls this year about young children and five being referred to hospital. In 2019, 93 calls were received and 72 concerned children with 31 referred to hospital.

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