The Alabama Department of Public Health confirmed Tuesday afternoon that food samples taken from the Limestone County Bean Day luncheon tested positive for salmonella.
Bean Day was an event held Oct. 4 by the Limestone County Foundation on Aging, which was held at Athens First Baptist Church.
Department spokesperson Dr. Mary McIntyre said the luncheon was the source that sickened dozens across the county. A specific food item was not pinpointed as the source for the bacteria, but said the several samples of food served at the event tested positive. Cultures taken from several individuals tested positive as well.
Some tests are still pending, which will determine what specific kind of salmonella bacteria made people sick.
Athens-Limestone Hospital said they started seeing patients nearly two weeks ago and they are still coming in.
Updated numbers from Athens Limestone Hospital show that salmonella has been confirmed in 27 people since last Friday.
Of the fifty people the hospital reported coming in with symptoms related to the food-borne illness, 27 were confirmed to be sick with salmonella. 13 people were hospitalized. It is worth noting that not everyone that came in with symptoms was tested.
An Athens-Limestone Hospital spokesperson said the hospital believes the number of people sick is actually much greater than the numbers they have, because so many people didn't seek medical attention when they came down with the illness.
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