Salmonella-Tainted Guinea Pig Sickens 81 in Minneapolis

Ecuadorian street festival vendor sold tainted guinea pig meat

Wikimedia/Turnierpaintball
The guinea pigs got their revenge on some adventurous eaters in Minneapolis.

Guinea pigs are adorable pets to some people and a culinary delight to others, but some fair-goers in Minneapolis are probably rethinking their choice to chow down on some cavies after some 81 people were sickened by salmonella-tainted guinea pig meat earlier this month.

The guinea pig meat was sold in a traditional Ecuadorian dish at a Minneapolis street fair celebrating Ecuadorian Independence Day on Aug. 11. Not long after the fair, people started showing up at local hospitals showing signs of severe gastrointestinal distress, which was quickly tracked back to the fair and the street food vendor with the delicious guinea pig.

Not all of the people who were sickened ate the guinea pig, but other meats were apparently cross-contaminated at the fair, according to Gawker. Event officials say the vendor had a food permit but sold food that had not been approved for sale and did not follow preparation practices approved by the health code.

The Minnesota Department of Health said that everyone who fell ill was treated and has already been released from the hospital.


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