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

 


East Ridge Council Approves Purchase Of Site For Displaced Fire Hall; To Look At Updated Sign Ordinance, Controls On Pawn Shops

The East Ridge City Council on Thursday night voted 5-0 to purchase a site of about two acres on St. Thomas Avenue for a location for the displaced fire hall that was at the entrance to Camp Jordan Park. That fire hall had to be dismantled recently because it was in the way of the Jordan Crossing development, which will feature a Bass Pro Shop. The site, which is behind a ... (click for more)

BOOST Summit Postponed Due To The Weather

Friday morning’s BOOST Summit at the VW plant has been postponed due to weather conditions.  The annual economic development and education summit is an event of the Enterprise Council of the Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce.  “With predictions of iced over roads and many participants attending to out-of-school children, we decided to postpone BOOST for a few weeks,” ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Has Always Been A Battleground Between Good And Evil

From the thousands slain in nearby Chickamauga Battlefield during the Civil War…  To the launching point of the Cherokee Indian’s Trail of Tears…  To the lunch counter sit-ins led by Howard School students — the only high school student sit-ins in the nation — during the Civil Rights Movement…  To Walter Cronkite calling the polluted Southern industrial town ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: They Are Americans, Too

Roger Dean Kiser is something of a legend. Aside from being one of the best story-tellers I know of – I’ve read his works for years – the fact he came upon it honest, like Chattanooga’s Roger Allan Wade, makes him kind of special. Again, I’ve followed him for a long time. By the time he was four, he had been abandoned by parents and grandparents alike. The state of Florida placed ... (click for more)

Baylor Girls Lose In State Basketball Semifinals, 69-61

NASHVILLE -- The third time wasn't the charm for the Baylor Lady Red Raiders. Facing the Brentwood Academy Lady Eagles in the semifinals of the D-II Class AA girls state basketball tournament at Lipscomb University, Baylor came up short for the third time this season against the Lady Eagles by a 69-61 final score. It was a see-saw affair with seven ties and 13 lead changes, ... (click for more)

Region 3-AAA To Play Friday With Earlier Start Times

The Region 3-AAA basketball tournament, despite schools being closed, will resume on Friday at Ooltewah High School with four semifinal games on the schedule. While the matchups remain the same, start time for the games have been moved up to 2 p.m., 3:30 p.m., 5 p.m. and 6:30 p.m., Ooltewah athletic director Jesse Nayadley said. While schools will be closed on Friday, Nayadley ... (click for more)