Some Timonium church supper-goers become sick with intestinal virus

November 10, 1999|By Joan Jacobson | Joan Jacobson,SUN STAFF

The Baltimore County Health Department is investigating reports that more than 30 people became ill after eating a roast beef dinner Friday night at the Timonium Presbyterian Church.

Karen L. Stott, spokeswoman for the health department, said one person was hospitalized from the intestinal illness, which, in most cases, "lasted six to 12 hours and was gone with no new onsets."

The Rev. Bob Eikelberg, pastor at the church, said about 160 people attended the dinner, held at the beginning of a conference.

Although health officials do not know what made people sick, "we do feel this incident is over because the people have recovered from whatever it was they ate."

Stott said the food was all prepared at the church and was not brought in by an outside caterer.

"We don't know what made them sick. The food was cooked in the kitchen," said Stott.

She said everyone ate the same meal of roast beef and mashed potatoes, green beans and coleslaw, so it would be hard to pinpoint if anything was wrong with one specific food.

Yesterday, Stott said, health officials were interviewing the one person who was hospitalized.

"We will continue with our investigation," she said. "But as far as we know, everyone's recovering, and no one died."

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