Two D.C. residents are among the 116 people nationwide who were infected in a widespread outbreak of the foodborne illness salmonella.
The outbreak has spread to 20 states and D.C., according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s website.
Dan Bruey, the director of the AU Student Health Center, said in an email, there have been no reported cases of salmonella at AU.
“At this time, with only two people in D.C. being reported, we have not implemented our strategy of notification,” Bruey said in the email. “We stay alert and monitor for cases, in collaboration with the Department of Health and local health care organizations, and provide notification if warranted.”
Many of the people infected with salmonella reported consuming sushi, which the Food and Drug Administration believes is the most likely cause of the outbreak, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The FDA announced on April 13 that yellow fin tuna had contained the virus and was responsible for the outbreak, according to the Associated Press.
This kind of fish frequents sushi dishes, confirming officials’ previous predictions.
Najma Roberts, communications director for the D.C. Department of Health, said in an email the Department did not have information on where in the District the salmonella cases occurred.
“No specific restaurants or food vendors have been shut down in the District of Columbia because of salmonella,” Roberts said.
The best way for students to protect themselves from salmonella is to wash and cook all meat thoroughly, avoid cross-contamination of foods during cooking, and wash their hands before handling any food, according to Roberts.
Bon Appétit is keeping a close eye on the outbreak as well.
“Everyone at Bon Appétit understands that safe food and a safe work environment are our top priority,” Michelle Mooney, general manager of Bon Appétit, said in an email. “We will react quickly if a culprit is identified by the health authorities.”
Most AU students said they had not previously heard about the outbreak.
Alifa Watkins, a junior in the College of Arts and Sciences, said AU should make a more conscious effort to inform students.
“I think the best option would be to put warning flyers in places where students will see them, just so that they can be aware that there is an outbreak,” she said. “So that if they’re buying their own food they know to practice good hygiene, because hopefully the school already is. “
CAS sophomore Emily Trabert said she did not know of the salmonella outbreak, but was not particularly worried.
“I’m not very concerned,” she said. “I usually cook my food really well and I already don’t eat out often.”
School of Public Affairs junior Damián Fontanez said he was less likely to eat meat due to the outbreak.
“I don’t consume too much meat in D.C. anyway,” he said. “But the salmonella outbreak scares me from eating any, especially after hearing that the DOH doesn’t know where the outbreak occurred. It makes vegetarianism that much more appealing.”