More than 100 people who attended the national Food Safety Summit in Baltimore earlier this month are sick with what appears to be food poisoning, but health officials haven’t identified the source of the outbreak.
“We are working on evaluating possible exposures and doing testing at the Maryland state public health laboratory to attempt to identify an agent,” officials said in a letter to attendees.
The conference was held from April 8 to 10 at the Baltimore Convention Center. At least 1,300 food safety officials from across the country attended, including employees from the FDA, CDC, McDonald’s and Tyson.
Participants with gastroenteritis are suffering diarrhea and nausea, NBC News reported.
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Health officials have been in contact with only 400 of the attendees, and many more could be stricken with food poisoning.
About 48 million people contract a foodborne illness in the U.S. each year, and 125,000 of them end up in the hospital, ThinkProgress reported. It is a $77 billion problem each year.