Toxin-Producing Bacteria Caused Students and Staff to Get Sick After Team Dinner



Thursday, 30 Oct 2008, 10:57 PM EDT




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Test results show a food-borne illness is what made people sick after a football dinner at West Geauga High School earlier this month.

The Geauga County Health District explained the test results to parents Thursday night.

They said clostridium perfringens, toxin-producing bacteria, started to grow on the prime rib when the temperature of the meat went below 120 degrees Fahrenheit.

Health District investigators said they don't know when the temperature dipped, but all of the procedures used by the Ramble Inn, which provided the food, checked out.

Ramble Inn co-owner Bill Prots said the food was kept in a warmer at 145 degrees until a parent picked it up to take it to the school.

"I feel we've been vindicated or cleared knowing our procedures we are confident we turned over a quality product to the schools," Prots said.

West Geauga Schools Superintendent Anthony Podojil said the school will continue to investigate where the rumor started that a student contaminated the food. The rumors spawned a police investigation. That investigation is over since the source of the illness was found.

Parents said they were relieved.

"I'm relieved that it was just resolved, investigated and that the school took the responsibility and reported to the proper authorities and they were able to clear it up," Julie Delpra, whose son got sick at the dinner, said.

The school will send home a notification with students Friday to notify them of the source of the illness and the facts of the case.


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