Did food poisoning strike at the food-safety convention?

BALTIMORE - Health officials are investigating what may have sickened over 100 people who attended a conference where more than 1,300 food safety experts had gathered.

No one at the Food Safety Summit held April 8-10 in Baltimore was hospitalized, according to health officials, and most people reported cases of diarrhea.

Alvina K. Chu, who is leading the Maryland Department of Health's investigation, said Tuesday that officials haven't yet determined what caused people to get sick. It's not yet clear if the illness was transmitted by food or from person to person, she said.

The Baltimore City Health Department received complaints of nausea and diarrhea from four people one week after the conference. After the illnesses were reported, city health officials inspected the convention center and its in-house catering company, Centerplate, on April 16, and issued a violation for condensation dripping from an ice machine, according to city health department spokesman Michael Schwartzberg.

City health officials found no violations during the most recent regularly scheduled inspection of the convention center on Feb. 27.

The state health department sent a survey to summit attendees on April 17. About 400 responded, with more than 100 people reporting symptoms. Health officials said there have been no reported hospitalizations or deaths.

Rita Foumia, corporate strategy director for BNP Media, which hosts the summit, said nothing like this has happened in the summit's 16-year history.


Join the Conversation!

To comment, the following rules must be followed:

  • No Obscenity, Profanity, Vulgarity, Racism or Violent Descriptions
  • No Negative Community Comparisons
  • No Fighting, Name-calling, or Personal Attacks
  • Multiple Accounts are Not Allowed
  • Stay on Story Topic

Comments may be monitored for inappropriate content, but the station is under no legal obligation to do so.
If you believe a comment violates the above rules, please use the Flagging Tool to alert a Moderator.
Flagging does not guarantee removal.

Multiple violations may result in account suspension.
Decisions to suspend or unsuspend accounts are made by Station Moderators.
Links require admin approval before posting.
Questions may be sent to webmaster@wvlt-tv.com. Please provide detailed information.

powered by Disqus

WVLT VOLUNTEER TV

6450 Papermill Drive Knoxville, TN 37919 Phone - (865) 450-8888; Fax - (865) 450-8869
Gray Television, Inc. - Copyright © 2014 WVLT-TV Inc. - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 257596601 - local8now.com/a?a=257596601