A Graham, Wash. slaughterhouse has been linked to a Salmonella outbreak that has sickened more than 130 people in 10 counties in Washington. Fifteen people have been hospitalized so far. According to the Seattle Times, samples collected from Kapowsin Meats in Graham last week tested positive for the rare outbreak strain of the bacteria, Salmonella I, 4, 5, 12:9:-, a germ that hasn’t been seen before in Washington state.

Exposure for many apparently came from whole roasted pigs served at private events and restaurants. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) sent its team of “disease detectives” to the state to help, the Washington State Department of Health said in a statement. Investigators are interviewing the most recent cases and comparing information to early cases, which were first reported in the spring.

Disease investigators are searching for possible contamination and exposure sources from a wide range of possible venues, including restaurants, markets, slaughter facilities, and farms/ranches. Salmonella bacteria are commonly found in animals used for food, and proper storage, handling, preparation, and cooking can help prevent the illness known as salmonellosis.

Source: Seattle Times, Washington State Department of Health