38 sick: Adelaide man with donor kidney gets Salmonella from InterContinental Adelaide buffet

Katrina Stokes of The Advertiser reports it was meant to be a 60th birthday celebration but instead Jackalyn Hirniak and her husband — who has a donor kidney — were both struck down with Salmonella poisoning after eating at the InterContinental Adelaide.

hirniak.salm.kidneyHarry Hirniak, 55, of Mount Compass, spent a week at the Flinders Medical Centre’s renal unit, where he was closely monitored by doctors for fear he would need to go back on dialysis or worse — lose his only working kidney.

The couple are two of at least 38 related salmonella cases, including 15 hospitalisations, as a result of an unknown source at the luxury hotel’s popular buffet breakfast on Sunday, July 31.

Mrs Hirniak, 60, told The Advertiser the pair fell severely ill between Sunday night and Monday morning after eating the breakfast spread.

“It didn’t do me in as much as it did Harry,” she said.

Mr Hirniak lives with one working donor kidney and had been doing “tremendously well” health-wise after he had a transplant 15 years ago.

Soon after the meal, Mrs Hirniak said they both endured “constant vomiting and diarrhoea at the same time, aches and pains and violent headaches”.

“On the Tuesday night, I said to Harry ‘you need to go to hospital’,” she said.

“It was more the dehydration that was causing the problem — his levels of toxins in his kidneys was rising,” Mrs Hirniak said.

“He was constantly on a drip and they (doctors) put him on a very strong dose of antibiotics.”

Mrs Hirniak said the end result could have been far worse.

InterContinental Adelaide general manager Colin McCandless said the hotel was following protocol and the “wellbeing of our guests is our highest priority.

“We’ve maintained close contact with any guests who have proactively advised us they are not feeling well.

“Guests who have proactively reached out to us, we have remained in very, very close contact.”

What protocol? Release the menu served at the buffet. Any raw eggs in those dips?