It has officially been confirmed that the Food Safety Summit was served contaminated chicken at its at its annual conference. The conference was chicken marsala by the exclusive caterer for the Baltimore Convention Center, Centerplate, during their April 9, 2014, event.
It is believed that Clostridium perfringens (C. perfringens), which is a spore-forming, gram positive bacteria, that was the culprit. This bacteria frequently is found on raw meat and poultry.
The chicken was served for lunch by Centerplate, and approximately two-thirds of those who became sick noted symptoms after that lunch. The conference included attendees from several states, Canada, Costa Rica and Mauritius. The health department learned of the illnesses from these attendees, rather than through the organizers, caterer, or convention center. Those sickened, according to a report released by the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, experienced nausea, stomach aches, chills, headaches, diarrhea, vomiting and fever between the period of April 8, 2014, through April 12, 2014. Some like Sultan Alhokair live tweeted as the situation unfolded.
The report came at the conclusion of the laboratory, epidemiological and environmental investigation.
This was the first such outbreak in the Summit’s 16-year history.