UBC's Centennial Feast leaves many with food poisoning

Dec 20 2017, 1:37 am

A large locally-inspired feast on the UBC campus to celebrate the university’s upcoming centennial celebrations may have elicited more than just school pride; dozens of students and attendees are now reporting food poisoning one day after the party.

“I don’t feel so great today, and neither do my friends. Everyone I talked to who ate the chicken are not doing well this morning, whereas the friends who are feeling fine did not. I think there was something wrong with the food,” wrote one guest on the event’s Facebook page, adding that he couldn’t even make it to class Friday.

“I woke up at 5 a.m. today sitting on the toilet for four hours, and still don’t feel okay now,” an attendee, who wishes to remain anonymous, told Vancity Buzz.

Other comments on the original Facebook post suggest that at least over a dozen other people were feeling similar.

“The vegetarian at our table also got sick. Didn’t touch the chicken at all, not even the lentils,” one commentor noted.

“Sh****** my guts out this whole morning but at least the chicken tasted good,” wrote another.

The UBC Centennial Harvest Feast gathered 1,000 guests Thursday evening to celebrate 100 years since the school first opened its doors in 1915. The event was touted by organizers at UBC’s Campus and Community Planning department to include a three-course meal made with fresh, local produce from the UBC Farm.

The meal was jointly prepared by UBC Food Services and AMS Conferences and Catering.

Salads contained mixed greens, tomatoes and other produce from the farm and entrees included chicken and a roasted summer squash penne. It is not yet clear which part of the meal has caused guests to fall ill, but even those who chose the vegetarian option report feeling sick.

A representative from the UBC Facebook account also commented on the post, adding that they had received numerous reports of mild illness by people who had attended the Harvest Feast. They add that they will be investigating the matter and urge anyone who may be feeling ill following the meal to contact the school.

“We’ve had some reports of mild upset stomach and diarrhea by people who attended the Harvest Feast. We have alerted people who attended the event, as we want people to be aware in case they are not feeling well after the event. We are looking into this matter and will provide updates to attendees as we learn more,” Leslie Dickson, Associate Director of Public Affairs at UBC told Vancity Buzz.

DH Vancouver StaffDH Vancouver Staff

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