Up to 40 ill; possible foodborne illness associated with South Carolina church fundraiser

South Carolina health types advised people who purchased barbeque at a fundraiser at York’s Grace Covenant Church fundraiser on Sept. 16 and 17 to throw the food away.

“The food from this event shouldn’t be eaten by any people or animals,” said Gil Potter, M.D., medical director of the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control’s Region 3 public health office, which includes York County. “We’ve received reports of more than 40 people who became ill after eating food purchased at the church. More than 300 plates of food were sold, and many people bought barbeque in bulk for freezing and later use.”

According to Potter, all of the people who became ill are reporting the same symptoms, mainly vomiting, diarrhea and stomach cramps.

“Tests are under way to identify the cause of the illness and we’ll continue to investigate this situation,” Potter said. “While not conclusive, this fundraiser is one thing in common among the people who got sick. As a precaution, we are advising everyone to immediately discard any food purchased at this fundraiser.”