Police investigating if food served to West Geauga football team was poisoned


Source of Article:  http://www.cleveland.com/hssports/index.ssf/2008/10/police_investigating_if_food_s.html

by From staff reports

Tuesday October 21, 2008

Police are investigating whether food served to West Geauga's football team was poisoned after nearly 75 people became sick Thursday night following a team dinner, Athletic Director John Cardiero said.

The team gathered for a meal Thursday night at the high school, along with support staff, cheerleaders and parents. The meal was prepared by Ramble Inn in Newbury Township. Later that night, several people began feeling sick, Cardiero said.

"From what I've heard, it's close to 75 people who got sick," said Cardiero, who attended the banquet but did not eat dinner.

About 60 players became ill with vomiting and diarrhea symptoms Thursday night and Friday morning following the meal, which included prime rib and mashed potatoes, Cardiero said.

Principal Dave Toth alerted police when they arrived at the high school for Friday's game against Perry, and an investigation began, Cardiero said.

"There were some rumors going around that possibly it could have been spite," Cardiero said. "They decided to investigate what happened. We're waiting to hear back."

One of the player's parents picked the meal up from Ramble Inn and brought the food to the high school, Cardiero said.

The illness did not keep anyone from playing Friday night against Perry, a game West Geauga lost, 21-11. But Cardiero believes the food poisoning played a role.

"Being up all night and not sleeping, being de-hydrated, I'm sure a couple kids were weak but they still played hard," he said. "I'm not sure how many kids were 100 percent going into the game. It's an unfortunate thing. Of course it's a concern."




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