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Campylobacter Sickened Food Festival Goers in Southeastern New York

Several people who attended an outdoor food festival at the Kenisco Dam in Valhalla, New York earlier this month fell ill with Campylobacter infections, according to health officials.

The Westchester County Health Department confirmed Monday that Campylobacter was the source of the many illnesses that affected festival goers in the days following the June 6 Burger and Beer Bash.

Health officials say the threat of the outbreak is now over.

“Anyone who has not already become sick following this event should no longer be at risk,” said Health Commissioner Sherlita Amler, MD. “Anyone who continues to have symptoms should contact his or her physician and should not go to work or school until symptoms resolve.”

Patients report eating food from several of the 30 vendors at the festival, making it difficult for health authorities to determine the source of the bacteria, said WCHD in a press release. However, the health department plans to revisit good food safety practices with all the vendors.

“As part of our response, the health department will send sanitarians to each of the food service establishments who participated in the festival to provide a refresher to restaurant staff about food safety, with special emphasis on safe off-site practices,” Amler said. “Sanitarians will also conduct a detailed food preparation review by observing as restaurant staffers prepare the foods they served at the June 6 event.” 

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