Illnesses reported after Rotary luncheon

Posted: Tuesday, May 18, 2010

ANCHORAGE - At least 20 people reported suffering stomach illnesses after the Anchorage Downtown Rotary Club luncheon.

Tony Barrett with the city health department tells the Anchorage Daily News that the early indication is that undercooked fiddlehead ferns might be the cause. However, the department is continuing to investigate.

About 110 people attended the Thursday luncheon at the Dena'ina convention center. Some center employees also ate the food after the meeting. Some people reported severe cramps and diarrhea, but it appears most people recovered quickly.

Of all the buffet items, Barrett says only the preparation of the ferns suggested a problem.

They should be cooked for at least 10 minutes, but he understands the ferns were only steamed for about five minutes.

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