Health district investigates possible sickening of people at fundraiser

Wood County Health Department


BG Independent News


Wood County Health District is investigating the possible sickening of guests at a fundraising event Saturday at Glass City Boardwalk.

The health district has received reports of 10 to 15 people becoming ill after attending an event for the “We Are Outdoors” organization on Saturday evening. The number of people sickened is actually close to 100, according to a person who attended the event and suffered from stomach and intestinal problems afterwards.

So the health district’s sanitarians and epidemiologist are trying to put the pieces of the puzzle together to determine what may have caused people to get sick, according to Lana Glore, director of the environmental division at the health district.

“We have just started our investigation,” Glore said Wednesday morning, after being notified by a few people late on Tuesday of their sickness. “It’s real preliminary right now.”

A health district sanitarian inspected Glass City Boardwalk, at 27820 East Broadway Road, in Moline, Wednesday morning. The business hosts events such as wedding receptions, corporate gatherings, conventions and seminars.

The sanitarian collected information on any sick employees, food handling practices, food temperatures, and food storage.

The menu for the Saturday evening fundraiser was reportedly steak, potatoes, green beans and salad prepared by Glass City Boardwalk. Dessert was a sheet cake from Kroger in Perrysburg.

The next step in the investigation involves health district epidemiologist Connor Rittwage interviewing those attending the event who were sickened, and look for commonalities in the items they ate that evening. Samples are reportedly being sought to send to Columbus for possible pathogens.

An estimated 300 people attended the event, which was the inaugural fundraiser for “We Are Outdoors,” a group that combines the interest of hunters and fisherman with the concerns of environmentalists and conservationists.

“Now we just have to put pieces together,” Glore said.

Glore was uncertain if any of those who became ill had to be hospitalized. She said that past sanitarian inspections at the business had not shown any significant problems.

Anyone who became ill after attending the event at Glass City Boardwalk should contact Rittwage at 419-352-8402, ext. 3259.