29 sick after Australian wake; again with the eggs?

Suspected food poisoning left most guests at a Canberra wake last week bedridden, with some interstate travellers having to delay trips home because of vomiting, a Canberra woman says.

Cheryle Parkes said 29 of the 40 guests had become sick after eating at her mother’s wake at the Raiders Belconnen club in Kippax last Wednesday.

Cheryle ParkesThe 61-year-old Ngunnawal resident suspects chicken and egg sandwiches were the cause.

”My brother-in-law had such severe diarrhoea, my sister had shocking vomiting,” Mrs Parkes said.

”Another lady, my sister’s sister-in-law, said she’d never been so sick in her life.

Raiders club manager Craig Potts said staff were working with ACT Health. ”If there is an issue we need to deal with it, but currently they haven’t given us any findings and therefore we are unable to deal further with this in this instance,” he said.

”As soon as the findings are made available we will be in contact with the client we dealt with and will take any needed action as such.”

An ACT Health spokeswoman would not comment on the specific complaint on Wednesday.

”ACT Health can confirm we are currently investigating a number of possible food poisoning outbreaks,” the spokeswoman said in a statement. ”We are unable to comment on the source or cause of any alleged outbreaks.”

While the $627 spread for the noon wake included a cake platter, hot foods and a cheese and dry fruit offering, Mrs Parkes said the sandwiches were the common raweggdenominator in those who had later become ill.

”I had a quarter of a quarter of a chicken and mayo sandwich,” she said.

”I’d say [mayonnaise] is in the egg too.”

Mrs Parkes said she was disappointed by the lack of detail.

”What did they find? I need to know what has made us sick,” she said.

Mrs Parkes said she wanted a refund from the Raiders club for the aftermath of the important day.

”You go to celebrate your mother’s life and everyone’s ill, and you’re apologizing to them for being so sick,” she said.

Home-made mayonnaise was to blame last year when 140 diners fell ill and 15 were admitted to hospital after eating at the Copa Brazilian Churrasco restaurant on May 12.

Australia still has an egg problem. And there’s nothing like a grandmother who has catering experience and just lost her mother to lay plain the lumbering attitude towards Australian consumers from both government and industry.

More on that later.

A table of raw-egg related outbreaks in Australia is available at http://bites.ksu.edu/raw-egg-related-outbreaks-australia (and we’re working to update the tables).