Manager: Salmonella at Fayetteville hotel affected more than a dozen employees
By WNCN Staff
FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. -
Investigators from the North Carolina Department of Health were at a hotel in Fayetteville again Friday. 14 investigators from Raleigh continued to look into reported cases of salmonella that are traced back to the Holiday Inn Bordeaux. The Cumberland County Health Department also had six staff members at the hotel Friday.
The county's health department said Friday afternoon that 51 people reported having signs or symptoms consistent with salmonella infections, and five people have been hospitalized. Five cases of salmonella have been confirmed. All seem to have eaten at the All American Sports Bar and Grill and The Café Bordeaux within the hotel.
The health department said at least eight cases of salmonella symptoms were in people from out-of-state.
The hotel's General Manager Scooter Deal said the first 14 reported cases were all staff members at the hotel, including himself.
"Plenty of vomiting, diarrhea, cramping," Deal said. "It suddenly started becoming a venture Saturday getting everything staffed properly."
Rick Suehr said he believes he was one of the people infected with salmonella. He aid Sunday brunch at the hotel on May 5. The following Saturday he began to feel sick, a feeling that lasted through Wednesday.
"This was where you had pain and cramps, and the pain wouldn't go away," Suehr said.
Deal said the health department investigators have asked questions of the restaurant kitchen staff and reviewed how they handled food. They are also checking what foods were shipped to the hotel.
Salmonella most often comes from raw or undercooked foods, so during this week he said the health department staff has also reviewed good practices with the kitchen staff.
"It concerns us and we want to get to the bottom of it. As long as it takes for them, we're here to help them and assist them, but we would like to get to the bottom of it so we could focus on the future."
The health department and the North Carolina Division of Public Health continue to ask individuals who consumed food or beverages at the Holiday Inn Bordeaux since May 1 and then developed symptoms within three days of that visit to call the county Health Department at 910-433-3638. Symptoms are nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.
"We are actively working with the hotel and restaurant management and with state officials to resolve this as soon as possible," said Cumberland County Health Department Director Buck Wilson.
The health department has also set up a "Salmonella Hotline" at 910-433-3824. In addition, Cape Fear Valley Health System has a Care Link health education line staffed by registered nurses. The health department said anyone can call 615-LINK (5465) with questions about Salmonella infection.
"We want people to call the health department even if they have recovered so we can ask them questions in hopes of identifying the source of the contamination. We have questions about food sources and travel," Wilson said.
Wilson said the restaurants are inspected quarterly - the most often inspections the health department does. He said the most recent inspection score was 91.5.
Wilson said pinpointing salmonella is usually rare. The restaurants remain open while investigators try to figure out what caused the salmonella.
"The best time to investigate is when they're functional so you can check equipment and make sure it's working properly, make sure the employees are doing what they need to do," Wilson explained
Brandon is a North Carolina native and UNC alum who lives in Fayetteville, and covers Cumberland County and the Sandhills. Returning to North Carolina to work as a journalist is a dream come true for Brandon.More>>