Illness linked to Torquay cafe investigated

Date: Thursday, 13 February 2014

A Torquay cafe, Bottle of Milk, has been closed following a number of cases of gastrointestinal illness.

Victoria’s Chief Health Officer Dr Rosemary Lester said reports of illness have been made to the Department, the City of Greater Geelong and Barwon Health.

“At this stage the probable cause of the illness is Salmonella food poisoning,” Dr Lester said.

“Further testing of food and equipment at the cafe and samples from people who are ill will assist in confirming the cause.

“In conjunction with the Surf Coast Shire Council we will thoroughly investigate the source of the illness,” Dr Lester said.

The cafe has closed voluntarily and will remain closed until further notice.

As well as the extensive on-site sampling there will be a thorough cleaning and disinfection of the premises.

Anyone who may have eaten at Bottle of Milk on or since Saturday February 8 who is feeling unwell with diarrhoea, vomiting or fever should seek medical advice.

An alert will be distributed to General Practitioners to ensure they are aware of the outbreak and to request that they report any further cases.

Dr Lester said the incident was a very pointed reminder to all people involved in food production and preparation that they needed to ensure the highest standards of hygiene when handling food.

“Washing hands, storing food at appropriate temperatures, adequate cooking of raw meats and poultry, and preventing the contamination of pre-cooked foods were basic, but important, steps in preventing food poisoning,” she said.

Symptoms of salmonella include headache, abdominal pain, vomiting and diarrhoea.

Media inquiries

Bram Alexander
Department of Health Media Unit
Telephone: +61 3 9096 8803
Mobile: 0412 260 811
Email: bram.alexander@dhhs.vic.gov.au