BARTOW COUNTY, Ga. -- Health officials from the Georgia Department of Public Health and the Bartow County Health Department are continuing their investigation of what they're calling a "likely foodborne-illness outbreak" tied to a catered event at Toyo Tire in White, Ga., last week.
In a release on Tuesday, Logan Boss of the Department of Public Health says the Bartow County food service caterer has voluntarily closed, pending mandatory safety and health actions. The DPH has declined to identify the caterer involved.
Boss says the department is not specifying the nature or the source of the outbreak, despite unconfirmed news and social media reports linking the sicknesses to salmonella. They indicate that conclusive test results may not be available until after the week of Thanksgiving.
In a statement Monday, Toyo Tire said they are cooperating fully with authorities to determine the cause of the illnesses.
The health department continues to work with Toyo HR to gather more information from their employees about the outbreak. They indicate that they are only aware of two confirmed hospitalizations related to the outbreak so far.
They are working to determine how many people may have been exposed. Estimates indicate that there may be as many as 1,800 people. While there are only two confirmed hospitalizations, on social media dozens of people have said they have sought medial attention after being sickened at the plant.
Boss notes that symptoms of foodborne illness include 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
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