Bill Smith, director of the Robeson County Health Department in North Carolina writes that at a recent Hispanic wedding in Lumberton with no listing of attendees, it appeared that too much chicken was purchased in order to be refrigerated by the caterer. The chicken — not able to be refrigerated — was put into basins with ice. Our natural summer is counterproductive to maintaining ice, so we can assume that a safe temperature was not maintained.
All the participants that became ill had eaten chicken or pasta salad with some sort of dressing on it. A take-home message here is to only use permitted caterers as they have been inspected, thus ensuring proper equipment. If you want to be doubly safe, check to see if they are bonded. It will cost a little more than an un-permitted vendor, but it could save you the expense of a day at the emergency room.
Judith Dalton, Nurse II at the Rural Health Unit in Estancia town, said that the 105 victims attended a wedding reception in Gogo village last August 8. Dalton said the victims did not initially manifest any symptoms.
But around 1 a.m. of August 9, they experienced extreme stomach pain, vomiting and diarrhea. Of the 105 victims, 75 were referred to the government hospital in neighboring Balasan town. Five were admitted while the remaining were outpatients.