BARTOW COUNTY, Ga. -- A suspected foodborne-related outbreak has occurred at a catered event in Bartow County after two people were hospitalized over the weekend.

The Georgia Department of Public Health says they are investigating a multi-day catered event at Toyo Tires in Bartow County last week. Logan Boss with the Georgia Department of Public Health says the cause of the outbreak is not yet known and notes that the illness has not yet been confirmed. Conclusive test results may not be available for at least three to five days.

Toyo Tires issued a statement late Monday afternoon: “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.”

According to the Department of Public Health, it is aware of two hospitalizations in Bartow so far, but it says there could be more. The department is working with Toyo HR to determine how many people could have been exposed; it estimates it could be as many as 1,800 people.

Boss notes that symptoms of foodborne illness includes upset stomach, stomach cramps, diarrhea, vomiting and fever.

Persons whose symptoms are severe should see their doctor or health care provider -- especially if their symptoms include the following:

  • High fever (temperature over 101.5°F, measured orally)
  • Blood in stools
  • Frequent vomiting that prevents keeping liquids down (which can lead to dehydration)
  • Signs of dehydration, including a marked decrease in urination, a very dry mouth and throat, or feeling dizzy when standing up.
  • Diarrhea that lasts more than 3 days

With many people sharing food over the upcoming holiday, everyone is advised to take care while preparing food and observe good food safety guidelines to prevent foodborne illnesses from ruining a happy holiday.