Local News

Health Officials Probe Food Illness After 73 People Get Sick

Posted December 7, 2007 11:29 a.m. EST
Updated December 7, 2007 4:56 p.m. EST

— Person County health workers are attempting to reach about 400 people in connection with a case of food contamination in which 73 people reported abdominal cramping, diarrhea and chills.

Those who got sick were guests at a Nov. 30 luncheon held in conjunction with the opening of a military armored-car manufacturer's plant in Roxboro, the Person County Health Department said.

Symptoms also included fever, nausea and vomiting over a two-day period. No one has become seriously ill, and no one was hospitalized, authorities said.

County Health Director Janet Clayton said about 280 people have been contacted

Health officials said the case appeared to be an isolated incident and that the event's caterer, The Catering Company of Chapel Hill, was cooperating with health officials.

It's still unclear what the source of contamination was. Workers are conducting tests, and some results could be back as early as next week.

The armored-car manufacturer, Force Protection Inc. opened last month, bringing as many as 270 jobs to the area.

North Carolina U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Dole and Richard Burr and U.S. Rep. Brad Miller were at the event, but none of them got sick.