Schedule your free consultation today.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

All fields are required



(833) 330-3663

Austin Public School Salmonella Exposure Warning Issued After Recalled Ingredient Was Used to Prepare School Lunches

Posted in Our Blog,Outbreaks & Recalls,Salmonella on May 20, 2024

Austin Public School Salmonella exposure warning issued after recalled ingredient was used to prepare school lunches.

Parents of Austin Public School District were given homework of their own last Friday.

Monitor their children for Salmonella infection symptoms.


A recalled ingredient was used to make school lunches on Thursday, potentially exposing all children eating it to a serious foodborne infection – salmonellosis.

Austin Public School Salmonella Warning Issued By School Superintendent

Superintendent, Dr. Joey Page, published an announcement on the Austin Public School system’s website and notified parents and caregivers of information that came to light regarding meals made by the district’s food services.

A recalled product, scalloped potatoes, was used for meals on Thursday, May 9.

After discovering the situation, he issued a statement.

“The ingredient in question was used in our lunch program yesterday. While there is a low risk of contracting Salmonella from the prepared food, we are taking every possible precaution to mitigate any potential risk.”

Parents are asked to monitor their children for salmonellosis symptoms and urged to reach out to their healthcare provider if they begin experiencing symptoms.

“Again, if you feel your child is experiencing symptoms of salmonellosis, contact your healthcare provider for further guidance. If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to get in touch with [School Health Services].”

What Is Salmonella?

Salmonella is a type of bacteria known to cause salmonellosis and other more rare illnesses such as typhoid fever and paratyphoid fever. However, salmonellosis is the most common type of infection.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that this germ is responsible for 1.35 million illnesses in the United States each year. This results in around 26,500 illnesses serious enough to require hospitalization and an unfortunate average of 420 death each year.

Parents may be worried about their child’s health following this Austin Public School Salmonella exposure event announcement. Things like what symptoms should they be looking for, how long might they last, who is more likely to get sick, if there are any complications, and how is the illness treated.

What Symptoms Should Parents Be Looking for After This Austin Public School Salmonella Exposure Event?

Salmonella bacteria are known to cause digestive illness.

Common symptoms to look out for include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Stomach cramps

Most people begin showing symptoms as early as six hours up to six days after exposure. However, some may take a little longer.

How Long Could Symptoms Last?

Severity and length of illness vary from person to person. Some may experience more mild symptoms to pass quickly. Others may experience complications lasting weeks or months after initial symptoms.

Most people, however, feel better within four to seven days.

Who Is More Likely to Get Sick?

Anyone consuming potentially contaminated food involved in this Austin Public School Salmonella exposure event could become sick. However, there are certain groups of people more likely to become sick and/or experience more severe illness.

Those more vulnerable to Salmonella infection include:

  • Children under 5 years of age
  • Infants (children under 12 months of age) that are not breast fed
  • People taking certain medications such as stomach acid reducers

Those more likely to experience severe symptoms include:

  • Infants
  • Older adults (65 years and older)
  • People with a weakened immune system

What Kind of Complications Can Happen from Salmonella Infections

Complications from Salmonella infections can arise when the bacteria leave the digestive system and enter the bloodstream. From there, it can infect the urinary tract, blood, bones, joints, and even the nervous system.

One of the more common complications of salmonellosis is a condition known as reactive arthritis. With reactive arthritis, people experience pain their joints sometimes accompanied by irritation of the eyes and pain during urination. This complication can last for months or even years in some people.

Other complications include irritable bowel syndrome. It may take quite some time for bowel habits to return to normal after Salmonella infections for some people.

What Kinds of Treatments Are Given to Those Infected?

Most people do not require specialized treatment to recover from Salmonella infection. Those with mild illness often fully recover by staying hydrated.

For those in the higher risk groups or with more severe symptoms, a healthcare provider may prescribe an antibiotic treatment protocol.

How Did This Austin Public School Salmonella Exposure Event Occur?

The exposure event occurred due to a product recall. An ingredient used in the scalloped potatoes made by Grande Custom Ingredients was potentially contaminated. Unfortunately, this ingredient was not directly supplied to the school system, and so they were not immediately notified.

Instead, this recall created a domino effect.

Domino Effect Caused Delay in Notification of Recall Involved in Austin Public School Salmonella Exposure Event

The supplier, Grande Custom Ingredients notified Kerry Foods, who purchased the ingredient used to make the scalloped potatoes.

This initiated a recall for all products that used that lot of potentially tainted ingredient.

However, Austin Public School does not buy this product directly from Kerry Foods.

Kerry Foods notified Martin Brothers Distribution of the product recall, as the product was sold to them for distribution.

Upon getting this recall information, Martin Brothers Distribution notified Austin Public School of the product recall. The school purchased the scalloped potatoes product from this company.

However, by the time the notification was received, the product had already made its way onto student’s plates in the school cafeterias around the district.

No Reports of Illness So Far

So far, there are no reports of illness. However, it can take several days for symptoms to appear. Parents are advised to monitor children who may have consumed the potentially harmful product.

What Should You Do If Your Child Becomes Sick?

If your child becomes sick from this Austin Public School Salmonella exposure event, there are a few things that you should do.

First, monitor symptoms. If symptoms become severe, reach out to your healthcare provider.

Also, keep the child hydrated. Have them drink plenty of fluids and avoid sugary beverages. A bland diet may help until symptoms resolve.

And finally, consider reaching out to a food poisoning lawyer. The Salmonella Lawyers at The Lange Law Firm, PLLC have experience representing families with cases just like yours. You send your child to school and expect a nutritious and healthy meal. When lapses in safety controls happen, people become sick. Sometimes with long-term consequences.

Call The Lange Law Firm, PLLC at (833) 330-3663 or click here to email. The compassionate team can go over the details of your situation to determine if you have a legal case.


By: Heather Van Tassell (contributing writer, non-lawyer)