Bacteria likely cause of illness at church potluck
Published Friday, December 12, 2014 12:15PM EST
Last Updated Friday, December 12, 2014 7:02PM EST
An elderly woman who died after eating at a church supper that also sickened at least 30 others last week has been laid to rest in New Brunswick.
Bessie Scott, 87, was remembered at her funeralFriday, as a wonderful great-grandmother who loved to garden and create handiwork. Her passing was noted in the provincial legislature.
Dr. Jennifer Russell, New Brunswick’s acting Chief Medical Officer, says the cause of the gastrointestinal illness that killed Scott has not been confirmed, but she suspects infected poultry.
"The most likely culprit probably is going to turn out to be the bacteria Clostridium perfringens," she says.
Autopsy results indicated Scott died of dehydration from diarrhea – not pre-existing medical conditions.
About 100 people attended the church supper in Nackawic,where turkey was served.
Adele Christie was there. Her husband and oldest daughter fell ill, but she and her other children did not, despite all eating the same food.
She says people have been too quick to assign blame.
"People should wait until they have the final results before they jump to conclusions and start making accusations or making statements when they don't have the whole truth,” she said.
Test results that may point to the cause are expected in the next few days.
Clostridium perfringensis estimated to cause nearly a million cases of foodborne illness each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
“C. perfringens infection often occurs when foods are prepared in large quantities and kept warm for a long time before serving,” says the CDC’s website.
With a report from CTV New Brunswick