October 12, 2016
Citrus Systems products not involved with outbreak
After receiving a number of questions about the status of Citrus Systems Inc. food products, the Minnesota Department of Health is emphasizing that the food products made and packaged at the Citrus facility in Hopkins are not affected by nor involved in the outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease in that community.
Legionella bacteria do not cause infection through eating food or drinking water or beverages. Infection is only caused through inhalation of fine water droplets containing the bacteria.
Cooling towers on the outside of the building were identified as the source of the outbreak. Contaminated water in the cooling tower system was dispersed into the air through evaporation, spreading the bacteria to nearby outside areas.
The water system used to produce beverages at the plant is entirely separate from the system used by the cooling towers.
There is no evidence that Legionella bacteria entered the plant. No Citrus workers were among the cases involved in this outbreak.