About Salmonella

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Black Forest Bakery Salmonella Outbreak

According to a report issued by the Macomb County Health Department on May 1, 2002, during the early spring of 2002, a Salmonella outbreak associated with the consumption of cassata cake and cannolis from Black forest Cakes and Pastries resulted in 196 reported ill people, 24 of which required hospitalization.

The MCHD concluded that the Black Forest Cakes and Pastries was the source of the Salmonella Enteritidis outbreak. Specifically, the report stated that, “the epidemiologic analysis established a statistically significant association between illness and the consumption of cannolis, cassata cake or both.” How the bacteria were introduced into the bakery could not be determined. “Once introduced…, improper sanitation, food storage and preparation practices were the most likely causes for the dissemination of the bacteria in the facility and the subsequent outbreak of illnesses.”

The “Environmental Assessment” published by the Michigan Department of Agriculture documented serious concerns about Black Forest’s sanitation practices.

  • Lack of sanitizing of equipment, utensils, and food contact surfaces,
  • Drying surfaces and utensils with shared towels, and
  • Inadequate emphasis on frequent and effective hand washing.”

The assessment also found fault in Black Forest’s ability to properly cool the cannoli filling as a way to reduce bacterial growth.