By: Candess Zona-Mendola of MakeFoodSafe

A public health alert has been issued by the AppHealthCare advising that there are 8 lab confirmed cases of gastrointestinal illnesses linked to a charity barbecue held at the Masonic Snow Lodge fundraiser held on Friday, July 19th at 240 Temple Drive, Boone, NC 28607. A a number of others who presented with similar symptoms of gastrointestinal complaints who may also be linked to this food poisoning outbreak.

North Carolina map/ National Atlas of the United States

The health agents of AppHealthCare are investigating this outbreak at this time. “We do not have a confirmed source of the illness but are actively conducting a thorough investigation to determine it with support from the NC Division of Public Health, Appalachian Regional Healthcare System, Watauga County Emergency Management and the Masonic Lodge.  Any purchased food should be thrown away and not eaten since there is a risk it could be contaminated,” said Jennifer Greene, Health Director.

Although a pathogen or food source has yet to be determined (or released) the AppHealthCare agents advise that those who are sick after eating at the event should seek medical attention. The public health alert mentions “[h]ealth officials urge individuals who have eaten or purchased food from the Masonic Snow Lodge fundraiser Barbecue … to monitor for any gastrointestinal symptoms that include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or abdominal pain.”