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10/12/2017 - State Health Officials Identify Salmonella in Chili Cook Off Samples - Click here to print this information

According to a report in Wednesday's Virginian Pilot, state health officials identified the dangerous food borne bacteria salmonella in samples from the Chincoteague Chowder and Chili Cook-off. Following the event on September 30, reports started to come into the Island's Facebook site about dozens of attendees who became ill with gastrointestinal problems. The Accomack County Health Department and the Foodborne Disease Team from the Virginia Department of Health are still trying to identify exactly which food caused the illness. Health officials urge anyone still experiencing similar symptoms to contact the Accomack County Health Department.

Approximately 350 people have responded to a survey the Health Department put out to try to find the source of the outbreak.

The Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Department acknowledged the outbreak in an Oct. 4 Facebook post, saying 'the 18-year event has never experienced anything like this and rest assured we will be working diligently to make sure this never happens again'.

Tuesday the Chincoteague VFD again urged event attendees to assist in the investigation by answering the survey questions: "Dear friends, we cannot express enough how important it is that you fill out the survey from the Accomack County Health Deptartment, whether you got sick or not," the Fire Department's Tuesday Facebook post states.

Approximately 2,000-2,500 people attended the festival and to date the health dept. has received only about 400 surveys. Please go the health dept. website at:

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