The causative agent of a Mother’s Day food poisoning outbreak that sickened 150 people at a Buddhist monastery in Putnam County, New York has been identified as Staphylococcus aureus according to the Putnam County Health Department.
A report Thursday from the news source, Hudson Valley-Your News Now says health officials determined some of the food served at the monastery in Kent Cliffs was held at improper temperatures; however, they say they may never know what food actually caused the outbreak.
The outbreak occurred at the Buddhist Garden Festival at the Chuang Yen Monastery in Kent Cliffs. At least 700 people attended the Mother's Day celebration event, including 500 from Chinatown in New York City.
Initial speculation was the source of the outbreak was “sticky rice balls” served at the event, however, health officials say linking the bacterium to any particular dish may be impossible because samples were collected after the event was over and many foods were similar.
Staphylococcal food intoxication is caused by several of the enterotoxins of Staphylococcus aureus. These toxins are heat-stable and cannot be killed by cooking.