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30 People Sick After Eating Food Catered by Local Restaurant

Thirty individuals became sick after eating the food at Haven Middle School parent/teacher conferences.

The City of Evanston said was the source of a recent food borne illness outbreak that caused 30 people to get sick.

The Evanston restaurant was catering parent/teacher conferences at Haven Middle School on Feb. 16, and people reported falling ill shortly after. The Evanston Health Department investigated the incident and concluded that poor handling of the food was the likely cause of the outbreak.

“The outcome of the investigation revealed unsafe food handling and temperature storage at both Merle’s BBQ Restaurant and Haven Middle School and it is therefore unlikely that the exact cause of the outbreak will be determined,” said Evanston Health Director Evonda Thomas.

It was reported in a city press release that samples of food from the conferences were sent to the llinois Department of Public Health Laboratory in Springfield for testing. Health inspectors were also sent to Merle’s Smokehouse to collect food samples and perform an inspection of the restaurant's food handling, storage and transportation.

"Results of the test indicated Clostridium perfrigens as the causative agent," the release said.

Clostridium perfrigens are toxins that cause food poisoning. The Illinois Department of Public Health says symptoms associated with consuming the toxin includes stomach cramps, diarrhea, and nausea.

The health department confirmed that the bacteria came from barbecue pulled chicken that was prepared at the restaurant and served "buffet style" at the school.

"No temperatures were taken at the time of delivery and the food was not kept heated or refrigerated during the time it was being served," the city said.

The city said it is working with the restaurant and the school to prevent a similar occurrence from happening again.

Matt March 18, 2011 at 08:09 PM
Richard, save your energy. Nobody is paying any attention to you at this point. This story was about people getting sick WEEKS ago, not everything you are ramblimg about. Move on to something new. Have you noticed yet that you are talking to yourself?? (eyes roll)
Richard Schulte March 18, 2011 at 10:13 PM
Matt, of course, you have no idea who reads these comments-you must have or you wouldn't have bothered to write the comment above. The "silent majority" doesn't comment, but they do read and absorb. As a teacher myself, I know that students listen, even if they don't ask questions or comment. (Every good teacher knows that.) I assume that your comment is your way of trying to prevent the facts from coming out. Nice try, but it didn't work. (smile) If you don't like my comments, you don't have to read them-that's the nice thing about the First Amendment. Sometimes facts are difficult, but they remain facts. Any teacher worth his or her salt still makes an effort.
Richard Schulte March 19, 2011 at 01:53 AM
Hmmm. . . .this from the NY Post just moments ago: "A whopping 78 percent of New York City voters said teacher layoffs should be based on performance, not the seniority-based "last-in, first out" law, a poll released today found." Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/localmajority_based_performance_york_mT8LRF5xbXjyRUY1EFyvSL#ixzz1H0OT6rG6 Maybe, just maybe, Evanston taxpayers actually do care about how their taxes are spent too. And maybe Evanston taxpayers also have opinions about whether 6 figure teachers' salaries and gold-plated health and retirement benefits are appropriate when many Evanston and Illinois residents are losing their homes to foreclosure and losing their lives to bankruptcy. Maybe we need a poll of Evanston residents on this subject! How about a Patch poll? My guess is that Evanston taxpayers would agree with New Yorkers.
Kit Sullivan March 19, 2011 at 04:09 PM
As a former (very former, 1970's CPS) school teacher I can only say that my experience with the teacher's union was depressing - I was on the job for two weeks and the union said - STRIKE!- and we were all told to walk the picket line. The only teachers who cared enough to stay on the job were the special ed teachers. I think the union ought to be cut back severely and teachers ought to be compensated on merit alone, with cost of living increases for time in. (Also, I hope the figures quoted are adjusted per annum.)
Emilie March 19, 2011 at 11:50 PM
Careful...If you are being over -taxed you might be accused of being sacastic and unreasonable. Please, is this your way of saying, "shut up and sit down?" Why can't Ms. flood have an opinion, ... like you?

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