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Attendees at ‘Food Safety Summit’ got food poisoning, Maryland health department confirms

Published: September 25, 2014, 2:41 pm
Updated: 3 weeks ago

A good way to teach food safety professionals the importance of proper meal preparation is to give them food poisoning. That’s what happened earlier this year at the 15th annual Food Safety Summit in Baltimore, MD., which brought together 1,500 attendees from government, industry and academia and ended with 216 of them getting violently ill.


The strangely named Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene released a report into the incident Thursday identifying a chicken marsala served on April 9 as the most likely culprit for getting attendees sick in a majority of cases. Symptoms included diarrhea in almost all cases while only 10 per cent reported vomiting, which the health department says is consistent with an outbreak of C. perfringens.


“The median duration of illness was 28.5 hours, which was slightly longer than is typical for outbreaks caused by C. perfringens,” the report says.


Attendees at this year’s Food Safety Summit came from 42 U.S. states, Mauritius, Costa Rica and Canada. The food poisoning in 2014 was the first such outbreak in the 16-year history of the event, according to Food Safety News, a news outlet that must surely be treating this like the Watergate of food safety stories.


via O Canada

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