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Food Poisoning Strikes 250 Inmates at Michigan Jail

About 250 inmates being held at the Kent County Jail in Grand Rapids, MI suffering with food poisoning symptoms since Sunday still do not know for certain what ails them.

None required hospitalization and all are said to be recovering.

The illnesses among the inmates began on Sunday, when Undersheriff Jon Hess says the jail served a taco-type meal that included a “chicken product.”  Hess said the meat was cooked at the proper temperature in a kettle, and then kept warm in a steamer.

Because the steamer was not keeping the meat warm enough, a pizza oven was substituted.  Later Sunday afternoon, inmates said the meat did not smell or taste right. The jail feeds 1,000 inmates for every meal.

Food samples from all meals served over the weekend were provided to the Kent County Health Department for lab analysis.  

The Health Department’s Lisa LaPlante told Food Safety News the investigation is “leaning away” from finding norovirus responsible for the illnesses.  She said the investigation is continuing.

© Food Safety News
  • John Cornyn

    I had a corrections client that had a similar incident that ultimately was determined to be caused by clostridium perfringens with the possible source being undercooked chicken.