ACCOMAC, Va. (WVEC) -- Health officials said Tuesday that tests found Salmonella in a sample of clam chowder served at the Chincoteague Chili Chowder Cook-off in September.
To date, the Accomack County Health Department has received 180 reports of illness from people who attended the event.
The local health department and the Foodborne Disease Epidemiology Team from the Virginia Department of Health began investigating the Salmonella outbreak when people who attended the cook-off developed gastro-intestinal problems.
The Division of Consolidated Laboratory Services (DCLS) in Richmond identified Salmonella javiana in a sample of Crab Shack Clam Chowder that investigators obtained from an attendee who was served during the event, consistent with the exposure results of the online attendee survey.
Approximately 500 survey responses, from both ill and non-ill attendees, were recorded in 18 days.
Health officials said Tuesday that they are addressing issues that may have contributed to the outbreak by engaging event sponsors and vendors. The officials added that laboratory and survey results analyses continue.
Approximately half the 180 people who said they were ill sought medical care, with 20 percent (36) receiving emergency room care, and 10 percent (18) hospitalized for one or more nights.