A Salmonella outbreak in North Carolina this past fall that sickened dozens of people has been linked to re-cooked pulled pork served at a church conference. http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photography-pulled-pork-image25878622According to news reports published Friday, the problem was probably smoked Boston butt prepared overnight by a member of the Living Word Tabernacle Church in Bessemer City, NC, and then re-cooked the next day. An estimated 400 people attended the church conference between Oct. 1-5, 2014, and at least 57 people were later reported as having stomach cramps, diarrhea and fever. Three were hospitalized. An investigation by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services and the Gaston County Department of Health & Human Services in Gastonia, NC, found that the pork was likely to blame. The church member who smoked the meat stated that it was cooked at 350 degrees F overnight. However, because it wasn’t thoroughly done, it was cooked longer the next day before being taken over to the church. This was the first Salmonella outbreak in Gaston County in recent years, according to news reports. North Carolina typically has about four such outbreaks annually. Salmonella bacteria are often found in uncooked or undercooked meat, milk, eggs, or on surfaces that may have come into contact with fecal matter. Salmonellosis (the infection caused by Salmonella bacteria) often results in severe diarrhea, nausea and abdominal pain. While anyone can become infected, those at greatest risk are infants, the elderly and people with compromised immune systems. Symptoms usually appear within six to 72 hours after infection, and the illness usually lasts four to seven days. Most people recover without treatment, although, in some people, diarrhea may be so severe that hospitalization is needed.