Meat fell from the sky in Kentucky 140 years ago

Emma Austin of the Courier Journal asks, what would you do if chunks of raw meat rained down from the sky?

Hopefully you wouldn’t eat it, but apparently some people did when “a horse wagon full” of hunks fell from the sky on March 3, 1876, covering the yard of a confused farmer’s wife in Bath County.

What was described as “flakes” of meat rained down around Mrs. Allen Crouch, who was making soap in her garden at the time.

An article in The New York Times a week later published the account of Harrison Gill, “whose veracity is unquestionable.” The article said some pieces were three to four inches square, and others stuck to the fences. When the meat first fell, it “appeared to be perfectly fresh.”

The two unidentified men who tasted the meat said it was either mutton or venison.

Over the next two days, curious neighbors and scientists flocked to the Crouches’ farm to try to determine what had caused the strange phenomenon.

There is no definitive agreement about what happened that day, said Kurt Gohde, an art professor at Transylvania University who has researched the incident. There are, however, plenty of theories.

Gohde’s favorite theory is one that he said was presented later in The New York Times that it was “cosmic meat” — flesh of animals from an exploding planet. People were familiar with meteors at the time, but they didn’t know that it would’ve been impossible for the meat to fall through the Earth’s atmosphere without being incinerated. So the explanation was certainly plausible to them, no matter how absurd it sounds today.

One scientist who tested the meat said it was tissue from the lungs of a child or goat, which drew a lot of attention, but didn’t stick.

One theory that didn’t get a lot of attention, Gohde said, was by Robert Peter, a scientist at Transylvania University: vulture vomit.

Peter knew, or at least theorized, that when vultures are startled or need to take off quickly, they may need to lighten their load so they can fly. In such cases, the birds vomit food they’ve recently eaten, possibly even while flying.

This theory is believed today to be the most likely, though Gohde pointed out it has a big hole: To believe the vulture vomit theory is to disbelieve the account of the only person who saw it happen. Mrs. Crouch said when she looked up, the sky was clear, and if vultures were vomiting enough meat to scatter across a football field, Mrs. Crouch presumably would have seen vultures overhead.

The Kentucky Meat Shower is not a historical event taught in classrooms, but there is a children’s book about it, and no, it’s not “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs.”

Vaccines work: Will low-cost shots for restaurant workers tame the hepatitis A outbreak in Kentucky?

Darla Carter of Insider Louisville reports the city is taking aim at the hepatitis A outbreak by offering low-cost vaccination shots to food-service and hospitality industry workers such as restaurant employees.

The Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness and the University of Louisville Global Health Center have teamed up to provide the service at a discounted price of $25 per shot, with the restaurant or business paying the fee.

“It’s a significant discount,” said health department spokesman Dave Langdon, noting that the typical rate is more like $65 to $100 a dose.

Against the Grain, a Louisville brewery and restaurant, is among the businesses that have stepped up to get some workers vaccinated.

“We care for our employees and want them to be well and we care for our customers and want them to be well,” co-owner Adam Watson said. ” … Any place that handles food, it’s probably a wise decision to try and get this done.”

The discounted shots are part of an effort to stop an outbreak that has led to nearly 200 cases of acute hepatitis A in the Louisville area, according to the health department. At least one person has died.

Locally, the highly contagious liver infection mainly has stricken the homeless and people who use drugs. It’s usually spread when a person unknowingly ingests the virus from objects, food or drinks contaminated with small amounts of stool from an infected person, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The health department and its partners have given shots to thousands of people at high risk, such as the homeless, and is urging restaurants and other food handlers to practice good sanitation and hygiene as the Kentucky Derby approaches in May.

Also, by taking advantage of the discounted shots, businesses “certainly would be helping to prevent the spread of hepatitis A throughout the community,” Langdon said. “Also, they would be protecting themselves against the potential bad publicity and loss of business that might come with having one of their workers identified with being infected with hepatitis A.”

Up to 100 sick with Salmonalla at Eagle’s Roost in Kentucky: Sick employee fingered

The Estill County Judge Executive says the state has identified what they believe the source of a Salmonella outbreak that left nearly 100 in the county sick.

eagle's.roost.kyWKYT reports Judge Executive Wallace Taylor says the state’s investigation found that an employee at Eagle’s Roost had contracted the illness, most likely without knowing they had it.

State officials told Taylor that they believe that is what led to the spread which they say left nearly 100 sick in the county.

At last check health officials say over 70 Estill County residents reported gastrointestinal illness and 51 of them tested positive for Salmonella. Taylor tells WKYT they believe the number of those who got sick may have been higher than the numbers they recorded. Nearly a dozen people were hospitalized.

41 sick from Salmonella in Kentucky

The Estill County Health Department says that they are investigating a Salmonella outbreak in the community.

shuttle.bus.vomitThere are 41 people sick and the Estill County Health Department says that 19 are confirmed Salmonella.

Six of those 19 cases have been hospitalized and three of those six are still in the hospital.

The Estill Co. Health Department is working with the State Health Department to find the source of the outbreak. They will DNA test the Salmonella to determine where it comes from. Those tests will be sent off Monday.

All 19 people with Salmonella had eaten at the same establishment in Irvine, but they had also had eaten at other establishments.

Kentucky woman claiming to be nurse threatens to put Clostridium botulinum in deputy’s IV

A woman who claimed to be a nurse made an unusual threat before she was arrested at 4th Street early Sunday morning, according to an arrest report. say 24-year-old Shenite R. Joseph was causing a disturbance in the entertainment district — screaming obscenities at an employee — when a Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office deputy asked her to leave.

According to the arrest report, the deputy asked her to leave four times, but she refused.

At that point, authorities say she told the sheriff’s deputy that she is a nurse, and that if the sheriff’s deputy ever came to her hospital, she would put “Clostridium botulinum” in the deputy’s IV.

Joseph was arrested and charged with third degree criminal trespassing and disorderly conduct. Both are misdemeanor charges.

Flying brisket injures woman during fight at Kentucky barbecue festival

Thanks for the reader who sent this along: police were called to the Kentucky State BBQ Festival at 10:15 a.m. Sunday after a woman was hit with a brisket during a fight, according to a police news release.

Mary Berry, 35, of Bardstown told police she was hit in the right shoulder, neck and head by a brisket whose temperature was estimated to be 200 to 250 degrees. She was working at the festival for Fire House BBQ, the news release said.

Berry was treated at the festival by Boyle County emergency crews.

The brisket allegedly was thrown by barbecue pit master Mike Owings, 42, of Cunningham after tempers flared between Owings and another barbecue pit master over the sharing of a cooker.

Owings admitted to officers that he threw the brisket after losing his temper but “didn’t mean for anyone to get hurt,” authorities said.

He was charged with second-degree wanton endangerment, a misdemeanor, and was being held in the Boyle County jail.

5 sickened: kids’ E. coli came from raw milk, Kentucky says

Five children sickened by E. coli infections last month drank unpasteurized milk, an investigation has found.

colbert.raw.milkThe state Department for Public Health worked with local health departments, hospitals and health care providers to find the cause of the outbreak, which affected children in Hardin, Oldham and Boone counties.

Four of the five children developed hemolytic uremic syndrome.

Dr. Stephanie Mayfield, commissioner of the state health department. “Unpasteurized milk is dangerous and has not undergone a process to kill bacteria before it is consumed …  raw milk, no matter how carefully it is produced, may contain pathogens.”

5 kids sickened by E. coli-related infection in Kentucky

Five Kentucky children were being treated at Kosair Children’s Hospital on Friday for a potentially life-threatening syndrome usually caused by E. coli infection, and the state health department has launched an investigation into how they got sick.

claudia.e.coli.petting.zoo.may.14“There is a cluster of children with” hemolytic uremic syndrome,” said Beth Fisher, a spokeswoman for the Kentucky Department for Public Health. “We don’t know the source at this point.”

Even though the children in this outbreak are from three different counties, officials said, they could have eaten at the same event or restaurant or eaten food that was distributed across counties.

15 sick, 1 dead; Salmonella outbreak linked to Kentucky restaurant

A salmonella outbreak in Kentucky that has sickened 15 and killed one has been linked to Casa Mexicana, a Madisonville restaurant.

Health Department Director Denise Beach says eight cases have been matched to Casa Mexicana. Beach adds that four others are pending.

WFIE NBC reports three cases have been reported in Webster County and one in Muhlenberg County, but it’s not yet known if they are linked to the Hopkins County mexican-food-tacooutbreak.

Health officials who visited Casa Mexicana say they found numerous violations which prompted them to test food samples and shut down the restaurant for at least a day.
Beach says there is no further risk to the community. Casa Mexicana is now on an increased inspection schedule.

1 dead, 10 sick from Salmonella in Kentucky

WFIE reports 10 cases of Salmonella in Hopkins County, Kentucky, up from seven last week.

The family of 61-year-old Steve Davis of Hanson says he is the man who died last week from salmonella poisoning.  They also tell 14News that other Davis family members are among the “confirmed cases” in the county.  Health officials say it could be weeks before a source is known, and officials might never find the source.