Health Officials Trace Salmonella to Sheetz Produce

  • Health officials say they believe produce brought in to Sheetz convenience stores from an outside supplier may have been contaminated with Salmonella
  • Sheetz has set up a toll-free hotline for customers; for more information call 1-800-765-4686

Pittsburgh -- A spokesperson for the state health department says officials believe they've traced the source of a Salmonella outbreak in our area to Sheetz convenience stores; but they're not yet sure what exactly has been sickening dozens of people.

Late yesterday, health officials told KDKA that they believe produce brought into the stores -- most likely a cold, over-the-counter deli product like lettuce or tomatoes -- is to blame.

So far, at least 34 people in Westmoreland, Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, Indiana, Cambria and Washington Counties have become infected with the intestinal infection.

After interviewing those affected in search of a common link, Pennsylvania Department of Health spokesman Richard McGarzey says they've determined that a product brought in to Sheetz stores from an outside supplier may have been contaminated.

McGarzey says Sheetz has been very cooperative with their investigation; and Sheetz says it is now working with the health department to get to the source of the problem.

People can become infected by eating or drinking contaminated food, by contact with infected people or animals, or with poor personal hygiene.

The symptoms of Salmonellosis, which include diarrhea, nausea, fever and occasionally vomiting, appear within one to three days after exposure to the bacteria.

While most people recover on their own, some may require antibiotics or fluids to prevent dehydration.

According to the state health department, about 2,000 cases of salmonellosis are reported each year in Pennsylvania; most occur in the summertime.