U.S – The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has confirmed that the number of confirmed patients in a Salmonella outbreak linked to two Mexican restaurants in Boston has risen to 45, up from 33 earlier last week.

The affected individuals have reported dining at Los Amigos Mexican Grill taquerias in Brighton Center and West Roxbury. Out of the 45 confirmed cases, 29 are from Boston. There have been additional reports of illnesses, but they are yet to be confirmed through lab tests.

In response to the outbreak, authorities have closed both restaurants due to health code violations. The Los Amigos Mexican Grill taquerias in Brighton Center and West Roxbury have also had their permits temporarily suspended.

During inspections, health inspectors discovered various violations, including “visible soils,” “mold-like substances,” and rodent droppings.

At the West Roxbury restaurant, inspectors found a lack of verifiable evidence of illness policy training, absence of proper food temperature monitoring, and inadequate handwashing practices. They also observed multiple rodent droppings on various surfaces.

Health officials have not specified when the restaurants’ licenses will be reinstated, reports Food Safety News.

According to city inspection reports, failures included multiple reports of foodborne illness associated with items consumed at the location. Samples were taken from implicated items and placed under refrigeration. All food items have been embargoed, and the owner has been instructed not to handle any food items without approval from the Health Division.

The West Roxbury location was previously cited on January 13 for multiple violations, including improper chicken storage temperatures that can lead to pathogen growth.

The health department advises residents who visited the Brighton location between May 12 and May 18 to monitor themselves for symptoms of Salmonella infection, including fever, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. If necessary, they should seek evaluation and testing from a healthcare provider.

The symptoms typically manifest withing 12-72 hours after consuming contaminated food.

Salmonella-contaminated food may not exhibit any visible signs of spoilage. Anyone can become sick from a Salmonella infection, but infants, children, seniors, and individuals with weakened immune systems are at higher risk of severe illness.

In most cases, healthy adults experience illness for about four to seven days, but severe cases may require hospitalization.

Individuals who have eaten at the implicated restaurants and developed symptoms of Salmonella infection should seek medical attention.

It is important to inform doctors about the potential exposure to Salmonella bacteria, as specific tests are required for diagnosis.

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