September 22, 2014

Outbreak at Homeless Shelter in Denver

According to Alexxa Gagner, Director of Public Relations for the Denver Rescue Mission, at least 60 people are hospitalized after eating a turkey dinner at the center last night. According to the press release, the Mission’s first priority is the health and safety of each individual.

Brad Meuli, President and CEO of the the Mission said, “we are shocked by this situation. Our main concern is for those who have become ill. Nothing like this has ever happened at Denver Rescue Mission and we are taking this matter very seriously. Today, we are working with the health department and local authorities to investigate the cause of the incident.”

Responders were called to the Lawrence Street Shelter where the dinner was served and to Samaritan House, where some of the guests were staying. No deaths have been associated with this outbreak. Turkey, mashed potatoes, and other vegetables were served at the dinner. Public health authorities do not know the exact source of the contaminated food.

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Since 340 people were served at the dinner, it’s possible that more homeless people in the Denver area are sick. Other organizations are helping the Mission, along with Denver’s Road Home, look for people who may be ill and on the street.

The Mission provides more than 600,000 meals every year. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are served every day. They are serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner today, but are not serving donated or pre-prepared food from the community. Environmental health, Denver Public Health, and Denver Human Services are investigating the outbreak.

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