Palmer, Alaska is located in the striking Matanuska Valley of Southcentral Alaska, between the Chugach and Talkeetna mountain ranges. Peas grow there in summer, the season when its possible to go out and watch the Sandhill Cranes that frequent the area.
This past summer, however, 99 people came down with Campylobacter.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta determined that the outbreak of Campylobacter diarrhea was traced to eating uncooked peas that came from a field frequented by sandhill cranes.
Droppings from the cranes most likely contaminated the peas, said Dr. Tracie Gardner, an epidemiologist with the Alaska Division of Public Health.
It’s probably too cold now for peas or cranes.