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On the Border Mexican Restaurant Salmonella Outbreak

On October 9, 2012, Clark County Public Health announced that it was investigating at least 16 Salmonella cases among patrons of On the Border, a Mexican restaurant located in Vancouver, WA. According to health officials, patrons who ate at On the Border between Sept. 20 and Oct. 8 had fallen ill with Salmonella infections.

By October 24, health officials had increased their count of confirmed and suspected cases of Salmonella to 117 that could be connected to the Vancouver restaurant. Laboratory testing confirmed both restaurant patrons and workers had become ill with Salmonella serotype Verchow, a rare strain of Salmonella.

On the Border was closed from October 9 to 14, while Clark County Public Health conducted an investigation into the Salmonella outbreak. Staff interviewed restaurant employees and customers in an effort to determine the source of the Salmonella outbreak--whether it was ill employees or a food source brought into the restaurant. Food safety training was also conducted at the restaurant to prevent future Salmonella outbreaks. The restaurant reopened on October 14.

Testing did not confirm the source of the Salmonella outbreak, and the source will likely remain unknown.

The Marler Clark law firm has filed 3 lawsuits against On the Border, one on behalf of an Oregon couple and two on behalf of Washington residents.

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