Additional salmonella cases tied to eatery

As many as 46 sickened after dining at On the Border

By Marissa Harshman, Columbian health reporter

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The salmonella outbreak count keeps climbing.

The number of people sickened after eating at On the Border in east Vancouver is now up to 13 confirmed and 33 probable cases. Most of the ill are adults, though some children have also gotten sick, said Don Strick, Clark County Public Health spokesman.

Three people have been hospitalized, at least two with dehydration, after being diagnosed with salmonella. Two of those hospitalized have since returned home, Strick said.

Health officials are still trying to determine the source of bacteria. They're unsure whether the bacteria was spread by a contaminated surface or food product, or whether a food handler passed the illness to customers.

All but one case involves customers who visited the restaurant between Sept. 20 and Oct. 8. One restaurant employee has also gotten ill, Strick said.

All employees have been asked to submit samples for salmonella testing. The restaurant will not reopen until those results are back from the lab, which can take several days. Health officials closed the restaurant Tuesday.

The restaurant's corporate office asked local health officials to help coordinate an advanced food safety class for all of the Vancouver employees in response to the outbreak. Washington State University Extension will administer the course at the restaurant, likely sometime in the next month, Strick said.

The course, however, is not required in order for the restaurant to reopen. The restaurant will be cleared to open once health officials are confident the public is no longer at risk.

Clark County Public Health shut down the Mexican restaurant at 1505 S.E. 164th Ave. after tracing 11 confirmed and five probable cases of salmonella to the eatery.

Marissa Harshman: 360-735-4546; http://twitter.com/col_health;http://facebook.com/reporterharshman;marissa.harshman@columbian.com.