September 28, 2022

Best of Baltimore Party Illnesses Affect at Least 20 Attendees

People are apparently sick after attending the Best of Baltimore party sponsored by Baltimore Magazine that was held August 18, 2022 at the American Visionary Arts Museum in Baltimore. At least 20 people have been sickened, according to posts on Facebook and news reports. Some went to the emergency room to be treated.

Best of Baltimore Party Illnesses Affect at Least 20 Attendees

This event offered food samples from several restaurants who won the Best in Baltimore contest, including Cosima, Clavel, Ekiben, Foraged, Gunther & Co., Gertrude’s Chesapeake Kitchen, Ice Queens, JBGB’s, Italian Disco, La Barrita, Linwood’s, La Scala, Maximon, Magdalena, Motzi Bread, Royal Farms, Ouzu Bay, THB Bagels, Sally O’s, The Food Market, The Local, Waterfront Hotel, and others, according to the Baltimore Sun.

Baltimore DOH Survey

The Baltimore Department of Health sent an email to party attendees which states:

“The Baltimore City Health Department (BCHD) in conjunction with the Maryland Department of Health (MDH) are investigating illnesses among attendees of the Best of Baltimore party held on August 18, 2022, at the American Visionary Arts Museum. We have not yet determined how people became ill and we need your assistance to do so, even if you did not get sick.

“Please assist us by answering some questions regarding your attendance at the event, whether or not you became ill. We anticipate that this may take 10-15 minutes to complete. Your full participation is crucial in order to figure out what might have caused the outbreak. The online survey is available at [this link.]

“Again, PLEASE COMPLETE THE SURVEY EVEN IF YOU DID NOT HAVE ANY SYMPTOMS. We also need to hear from those who are not ill to fully investigate this situation. If you have any questions about the survey, please contact MDH’s Division of Outbreak Investigation at 410-767-6700. All other questions should be directed to the BCHD at 410-396-4436. Please distribute this to anyone you know who attended the event who may not have been contacted.”

Food Poisoning Bulletin reached out to the Baltimore City Health Department and received this response: “We have received information regarding a potential outbreak at the Best of Baltimore event. Investigations are ongoing and we are working closely with the State to find out more. A survey was sent by MDH to event attendees to determine what the source of the illness might be. We encourage everyone who received the survey to complete it—regardless of whether or not they fell ill following the event.” Arinze Ifekauche, Director of Communications, Baltimore City Health Department

Best of Baltimore Party Patient Symptoms

Symptoms that the Best of Baltimore party patients have been experiencing include fever, headache, vomiting, diarrhea, and sweating. Some said they got sick three days after the event. One patient told the Baltimore Sun that she had allegedly tested positive for Campylobacter.

Those symptoms match with the types of illness caused by most foodborne pathogens, including Salmonella, Campylobacter, E. coli, Bacillus cereus, Clostridium perfringens, norovirus, and Staphylococcus, depending on illness onset. The incubation period of Salmonella, Campylobacter, E. coli, and Staphylococcus infections fit within that time frame, and the time frame seems to rule out norovirus and Bacillus cereus. All of these pathogens have caused outbreaks associated with restaurants, catered events, and individual foods.

What You Can Do

If you attended the Best of Baltimore Party and have been ill, see your doctor. There are many long term health complications from food poisoning infections, and people in certain high risk groups can become seriously ill. And fill out the questionnaire from the health department, even if you attended that event and did not get sick. Your answers can help narrow down the focus of the investigation.

Attorneys at the Pritzker Hageman Food Safety Law Firm

If you have been diagnosed with a food poisoning infection after attending the Best of Baltimore party on August 8, 2022, please contact our experienced attorneys for help with a possible lawsuit at 1-888-377-8900 or text us at 612-261-0856. Our firm represents clients in lawsuits against grocery stores and food processors.

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