Company Thanksgiving dinner led to salmonella outbreak
BARTOW COUNTY, Ga. - A catering company whose food may have sickened hundreds of workers during a company Thanksgiving dinner has voluntarily shut down while the investigation is going on.
Officials for the Georgia Department of Public Health said in an email that they officially determined the illness was due to salmonella.
Complaints have been all over social media and prompted a health department investigation into the outbreak.
Employees at the TOYO Tire plant in White, Georgia Were sounding off on social media. They said a number of the 1,800 people who ate a catered Thanksgiving meal last week got Salmonella poisoning.
The meal spanned 2 days. Workers who are out sick said they aren’t sure when they will be back. They said they started getting sick Thursday and so did their coworkers.
FOX 5 News spoke with an employee’s wife took her husband home from the hospital with Salmonella information packets and a handful of prescriptions.
"They gave him two bags of fluids, did blood work did a salmonella culture, gave him some IV antibiotics and um basically he's being treated for salmonella poisoning,” said Stephanie, who didn’t want us to use her last name.
Stephanie’s husband started getting sick Thursday night and got progressively worse over the weekend. He said he’s not the only one out of work Monday.
"I can only speak from what I know for sure,” said Stephanie. “My brother in law was in the emergency room yesterday and was also treated for salmonella poisoning and several of my husband's coworkers that he has spoken to he has directly spoken to have been sick and were in the ER."
When asked how many people are out of work and how many people are out from sickness, this is the statement a TOYO spokesperson provided:
“The health and safety of our employees is our highest priority. We are cooperating fully with health authorities as we seek to determine the cause of these illnesses.”
A representative at the district health department who said both the caterer and TOYO are cooperating. They wrote:
"While we suspect this is a foodborne-related outbreak, that hasn’t been confirmed. Cause of the outbreak is not yet known; the illness or illnesses have not yet been confirmed."
Cultures will take days to officially identify Salmonella and the health department said it could be next week before they name a cause.