The Washoe County Health District believes that the E. coli contamination of the desserts manufactured at Reno Provisions resulted from cross-contamination that occurred during the dessert’s production. According to Health District officials the food manufacturer has cooperated fully with investigators. The source of the contamination has been addressed and no additional contaminated food items have been identified.
Due to the cross-contamination which occurred at Reno Provisions and its connection to special food processing operations conducted there, the Health District has directed Reno Provisions to halt these special operations until detailed plans are submitted for review and approval by the Health District. The plans will be established through a Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) system approach, which addresses analysis and control of hazards during the food production processes. The plans will establish active administrative controls for these special food processing operations at Reno Provisions prior to the continuation of these processes.
“The Health District takes our responsibility to protect the public from communicable diseases very seriously, whether it’s an E. coli outbreak from food served in restaurants, or norovirus in schools,” said Dick. “We want the public to know it is our highest priority to protect the health of residents and visitors to our area.”
Since mid-October twenty-two confirmed and probable cases of E. coli 0157:H7 have been reported in Washoe County. The majority of the cases had eaten at a local restaurant, which served a dessert manufactured by Reno Provisions. Health District epidemiologists and environmentalists traced the source through hundreds of hours of investigation, interviewing people and testing foods, until the E. coli source was identified.
“The Health District wants the people sickened by the e. coli contamination and their families to know that our thoughts are with them,” Dick concluded.