Epidemiological investigation of an outbreak of food poisoning in an officers’ mess

Maninder Pal Singh Pardal, RajVir Bhalwar, V. K. Mehta, Rajiva .


Background: Foodborne infection is a major cause of illness and death worldwide, having long term effects on children’s growth; and considerable illness, heavily affecting healthcare systems. To investigate an outbreak of food poisoning which occurred in an officers’ mess.

Methods: A retrospective cross-sectional descriptive study was carried out in the setting of an officers’ mess in an army unit. Standard statistical methods such as calculation of percentage and Chi square were utilized for analysis.

Results: It was observed that seven (63.6364%) cases were amongst officers, 3 (27.2727%) cases were among ladies and 1 (9.0909%) case was amongst ORs. 100% cases occurred within 9 to 20 hours of consuming the food.

Conclusions: A small scale outbreak of food poisoning occurred in an officers’ mess in a military establishment. Clinically the most likely causative organism was suspected to be Salmonella typhimurium. No microbiological confirmation could be carried out as no food sample was available for the same.


Outbreak, Food poisoning, Microorganism

Full Text:



Gamarra RM, Nachimuthu S. Food Poisoning. Editors: Perez JA, MSED, Talavera F, Pharm D, PhD, Mechaber AJ, FACP, Katz J, Accessed on 13 May 2008, 30 screens.

Adak GK, Meakins SM, Yip H, Lopman BA, Brien OSJ. Disease risks from foods, England and Wales, 1996 - 2000. Emerg Infect Dis. 2005;11(3):365-72.

Sood SK. Food Poisoning. Editors: Liang RJ, Windle ML, Tolan RW, Steele RW, Accessed on 13 May 2008, 20 screens.

Gerberding J, Reviewed by Michael Smith. Vibrio Vulnificus Food Poisoning. WebMD Health News. 2005. Accessed on 13 May 2008, 8 screens.

Daniels NA, Mackinnon L, MPH, Rowe SM, Bean NH, Griffin MP, et al. Foodborne Disease Outbreaks in United States Schools. Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2002;21(7):623-8.

Timothy FJ, Molly EK, Susan SP, Michael B, William S. An Outbreak of Community-Acquired Foodborne Illness Caused by Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Emerg Infect Dis. 2002;8(1).

Robert W, Tolan, Daniel AC, Frattarelli, Botulism. Editors: Itzhak Brook, Windle ML, Barton LL, Rauch D, Steele RW. Accessed 13 May 2008, 20 screens.

Lanier WA, Hale KR, Geissler AL, Mattia DD. Chicken Liver-Associated Outbreaks of Campylobacteriosis and Salmonellosis, United States, 2000-2016: Identifying Opportunities for Prevention. Foodborne Pathog Dis. 2018;15(11):726-33.