UTC’s Crossroads Cafeteria Will Resume Serving Chicken By End Of This Week, Cantrell Reports

No New Cases Of Food-Borne Illness Since Aug. 27, According To Vice Chancellor Of Communications

Tuesday, September 10, 2013 - by Judy Frank
UTC students and other diners at Crossroads, the campus’ only all-you-can-eat cafeteria, will soon be able to feast on chicken again.
 
The meat – identified as a likely cause of a recent outbreak of a food-borne illness among students – could possibly be back on Crossroads menus as soon as Wednesday, according to Chuck Cantrell, the school’s associate vice chancellor of Communication and Marketing.
 
He said students have been asking when chicken will be available again since Crossroads stopped serving it.
 
That occurred because chicken was linked to the cases of 25 students who ate at Crossroads between Aug. 19-21, and began seeking treatment soon afterwards for symptoms related to digestive distress: prolonged diarrhea, fever, abdominal cramping, nausea, vomiting, and chills.
 
After health department epidemiologists reported finding cases of both salmonella and campylobacter, he said, UTC Chancellor Roger Brown sent a memo to all faculty, staff and students alerting them of the situation.
 
“Aramark, which operates UTC’s dining facilities, and UTC staff—including Student Health, Auxiliaries, and Safety and Risk Management—have been cooperating fully with health department officials,” the memo said.
 
“As soon as (UTC) Student Health (Services) and the health department became aware of the illnesses,” it continued, “inspection of campus food services began, which resulted in scores of 95 and 99. Health Department staff also spent time over several days observing UTC food service workers during food preparation and service.”
 
The outbreak has made news across the nation, as well as noted by attorneys who handle litigation related to food-borne illnesses.

For example, "Campylobacter and Salmonella Outbreak at University of Tennessee Chattanooga," a headline in the Marler Blog – the online voice of personal injury lawyer and specialist in food-borne illness litiation William Marler of Seattle, WA – noted Monday.

The full text of the Sept. 9 memo sent by Dr. Brown to UTC faculty, staff and students regarding the situation reads as follows:
 
Dear Colleagues,
 
I want to inform you that the UTC administration and the Chattanooga Hamilton County Health Department are working together to conduct an investigation into the cause of an illness affecting several of our students and staff.
 
Since Aug. 20, (about) 25 individuals have been identified with symptoms related to digestive distress, including prolonged diarrhea, fever, abdominal cramping, nausea, vomiting, and chills. The Health Department has confirmed cases of both salmonella and campylobacter. The Health Department has informed us that these results are suggestive of a chicken product but it is uncertain at this time. A specific source of the illness has not been identified and the investigation is ongoing.
 
The number of students reporting these symptoms has dropped dramatically, and we continue to work with Health Department officials to monitor the situation. Both salmonella and camplyobacter can cause the symptoms presented. Illness may last five to seven days and most persons do not require treatment other than oral fluids.
 
Although all of the chicken products from the time of the initial exposure are no longer being served, Crossroads has pulled all chicken products from its menu until we are assured that they are safe. Additionally, all preparation and handling procedures for chicken are being reviewed by Aramark and Health Department officials.
 
Aramark, which operates UTC’s dining facilities, and UTC staff—including Student Health, Auxiliaries, and Safety and Risk Management—have been cooperating fully with Health Department officials. As soon as Student Health and the Health Department became aware of the illnesses, inspection of campus food services began, which resulted in scores of 95 and 99. Health Department staff also spent time over several days observing UTC food service workers during food preparation and service.
 
After a thorough examination of UTC dining facilities, the source of the illness remains unknown. UTC dining facilities, including Crossroads, have been inspected by the Health Department several times, and to date, no specific problems have been found. In fact, while serving thousands of meals each day, UTC dining continues to earn high marks for its food preparation and serving safety procedures.
 
Aramark officials have also been in touch with their food suppliers to ensure food quality.
 
The University is committed to the health and well-being of our students, faculty, staff, and visitors, and we continue to work with the Health Department to monitor health conditions on campus.
 
We encourage students or employees who experience prolonged diarrhea, fever and chills—or who may have done so recently—to contact the Student Health Service at 425-2266 or the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Health Department at 423 209-8190.
 
Dr. Richard Brown
Executive Vice Chancellor for Finance, Operations, and Information Technology

 


TBI Hosts Drug Take-Back Day On Saturday

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation joins the Drug Enforcement Administration for a program  this Saturday  that gives Tennesseans a chance to rid their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription pills. From  10 a.m. to 2 p.m.  this Saturday, residents can drop off pills or patches to be disposed of at locations all across ... (click for more)

Upcoming Red Bank Commission Agenda

Here is the upcoming Red Bank Commission agenda for Tuesday: I. Call to Order – Mayor John Roberts II. Roll Call – City Manager Mayor Roberts ____, Vice-Mayor Pierce ____, Commissioner LeCompte ____, Commissioner Pope ___, Commissioner Rose ____ III. Invocation – IV. Pledge of Allegiance – V. Consideration of the Minutes for approval or correction: ... (click for more)

White Coat Syndrome And The Medical System - And Response (2)

Today I wish to share what I am feeling as a patient in our medical system. I am too old to put on airs at this point, and this is too pervasive of a problem for me to contain.   As I enter my AARP years, I am faced with so many medical encounters that evoke all kinds of uncomfortable feelings. I dread physician’s appointments riddled with government regulatory hypocrisy, ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: County Commissioners Not Getting Bang For Their School Bucks

The Hamilton County School Board passed a balanced budget to present to the County Commission at a Special Called Meeting on Thursday night. They also attached a prioritized list of $24.5 million in critical needs for the County Commission to consider that will never see the light of day. The long and short of it is easy to see -- the County Commissioners have had enough. It ... (click for more)

Sales' Grand Slam Leads Lady Owls To 6-2 Comeback Win

Cheyenne Sales came close to hitting two home runs on Tuesday. She atoned for those close calls a day later with a grand slam in a five-run fourth inning and powered Ooltewah to a 6-2 victory over gritty East Hamilton in District 5-3A softball action at Jim Lovell Field. “That’s the first grand slam I’ve hit this season,” said Sales, who finished with five RBIs. “The pitch ... (click for more)

Prep Tennis: Hixson Girls, Red Bank Boys Win District Titles

Playing for the District 6 A-AA tennis title, it came down to No.2 doubles with the overall match tied at 4 all. Hixson’s Amy Carranza and Sydney Buckner defeated Grace Brown and Cheyenne Cummings, of Red Bank, 8-6, Thursday at the Hixson Rec Center courts to give the host Wildcats the district championship, 5-4, for the second straight year and fourth title in five years. ... (click for more)