About 70 sickened after meeting at Ore. Zoo

About 70 sickened after meeting at Ore. Zoo

About 70 sickened after meeting at Ore. Zoo

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by Jeff Thompson, KGW.com Staff

NWCN.com

Posted on December 11, 2012 at 11:39 AM

Updated Tuesday, Dec 11 at 3:15 PM

PORTLAND -- Dozens of people were sickened after a catered meeting at the Oregon Zoo last week, but officials have not yet determined what caused the illnesses.

An estimated 220 employees of Women's Healthcare Associates attended a meeting Wednesday at the Oregon Zoo conference facility. The zoo catered the event, which included fruit, pastries, bagels and other breakfast foods.

About a third of the guests complained of nausea, vomiting and diarrhea afterward, according to Julie Sullivan-Springhetti of the Multnomah County Health Department.

"The county was contacted Friday and ended up spending over three hours inspecting the facility and interviewing staff on Saturday," she said. "No conclusion on what caused the sickness has been made yet."

She said investigators found nothing that would warrant closing or changing procedures at the kitchen. The health department did not determine if the kitchen was the origin of the contamination.

Women's Healthcare Associates CEO Brian Kelly said in a statement Tuesday that the company was working with health officials to find the cause. He said none of the company's patients were at risk.

"At this point, we are not aware that a definitive cause has been determined; however we have taken every precaution to protect the health and wellbeing of our employees and patients," Kelly said. "As always, we will be vigilant in keeping our staff and our patients informed of any issues that impact their health."

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