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FAKE NEWS: Clarkston Quality Inn Salmonella Outbreak Sickens 25 People (Like 20 Years Ago)

Posted in Our Blog,Outbreaks & Recalls,Salmonella on March 21, 2024

A writer going by the name of Heather Frye at the Lewiston Tribune wrote an article that posted just yesterday (but really 20 years ago) about an outbreak of Salmonella illnesses linked to a Clarkston Quality Inn in Clarkston, Washington. Wrote being the word of the day as other online journalists are calling out this fake news. Us at MakeFoodSafe didn’t stop there, however. We gave our friends at the

Here is everything we know about this fake Clarkston Quality Inn Salmonella Outbreak:

The Clarkston Quality Inn Salmonella Outbreak (According to Heather Frye)

Twenty-five Coleman Oil employees were diagnosed with salmonella following a March 6 banquet at the Clarkston Quality Inn, according to Valley Health Department officials. Coleman Oil held a company banquet on March 6, 2024 where Mexican-style food was served. The health department is working in conjunction with the North Central Health District in Lewiston to identify the cases, since most of the people at the event live in Idaho, said Carmel Donohue, administrator of the Asotin County Health Department.

All of the 88 people who attended the company banquet have been contacted and the incident appears to be isolated, according to Juan Caballero, environmental health director for the Asotin County Health Department.

Caballero said he has conducted several thorough inspections of the Quality Inn and its kitchen and has observed the conduct of its food service staff since the department became aware of the incident. He said he is satisfied with the inspections and added the department is confident there is no reason to close the restaurant.

“I ate there last night, that’s how confident I am,” Donohue said.

This is the first time such an incident has occurred at the Quality Inn, said Curt Johnson, its general manager.

“We are probably as sick and devastated as the people who attended,” Johnson said.

A questionnaire form was sent out to involved individuals by the health department, Caballero said. And all doctors in the valley have been alerted to be on the lookout for people who exhibit signs of salmonellosis, the infection caused by salmonella bacteria.

Most people infected with salmonella develop diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps 12 to 72 hours after infection. The health department received the first call on the incident March 11, Caballero said.

About Salmonella

Salmonella Symptoms and Treatment

 Consuming this potentially contaminated food isn’t necessarily a guaranteed weekend date with the toilet. Not everyone who is exposed will become sick. And many who become sick can recover without medical help, managing symptoms with over-the-counter help and good old-fashioned time as the bacterial infection runs its course. But this isn’t the case with everyone.

The CDC estimates Salmonella is responsible for 1.35 million infections leading to 26,500 hospitalizations, and around 420 deaths in the United States each year. Most of these illnesses are the result of foodborne exposure.


Symptoms usually entail diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps. They generally begin anywhere from 6 hours to 6 days after infection and can last anywhere from 4 to 7 days on average.

Antibiotic treatment can be used for those with severe illness. In some cases, infection may be so severe that hospitalization is required for recovery.

Higher Risk Populations

Certain groups of people are at higher risk for severe infection. According to the CDC, infants, children under 5 years old, adults over 65, and those with a weakened immune system are more likely to become infected and have more severe symptoms. Infants (children under 12 months) who are not breast fed are also near the top of that list, as are those taking certain medications such as stomach acid reducers.

What Do I Do If I Have Symptoms

If you have consumed this potentially tainted product and have symptoms, you have options.

Reach Out to Your Health Care Provider

“People should contact a health care provider if they believe they’ve had symptoms of salmonellosis, including diarrhea, after eating raw cookie dough,” said Paul Cieslak, M.D., medical director for communicable diseases and immunizations at the OHA Public Health Division. “It’s important to remember, though, that most people with salmonellosis will recover without needing medical care or antibiotics.”

Be sure to mention that you consumed a food potentially involved in a Salmonella outbreak. Specific tests are required to achieve an accurate diagnosis.

Make a List of the Foods You Have Eaten

Traceback investigations rely heavily on interview data. Specifically what patients have eaten and where they got it from. A common thread could mean faster identification of tainted products and prompt recall, which helps keep others from getting sick.

Be as detailed as you can remember and write this information as soon as you can. As time passes, your memory might fade on details. Those details could prove very important.

Get Advice About Real Salmonella Illesses

Are you concerned for yourself or someone you love that may have fallen ill with Salmonella? Navigating this process can be confusing. Reach out to an experienced professional that can help answer your questions.

Contact The Lange Law Firm, PLLC to schedule your free, no obligation legal consultation with a Salmonella lawyer who has a reputation for success in handling cases just like yours. Call (833)330-3663 or fill out the online contact form to get the answers you deserve.