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UPDATE: Possible ‘foodborne incident’ leads to mass sickness at hotel in Tucson

Multiple people reported getting sick at the Red Roof Inn.
Multiple people reported getting sick at the Red Roof Inn.(KOLD News 13)
Published: Nov. 22, 2021 at 9:45 PM MST|Updated: Nov. 23, 2021 at 2:04 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - More than 50 people got sick at a hotel in Tucson Monday, Nov. 22, and a county health official said it is being investigated as food poisoning.

Pima County Health Department Director Dr. Theresa Cullen said 56 people got sick at the Red Roof Inn, located at 1300 N. Stone Ave.

Six of those people were transported to the hospital while the rest were treated on site. Cullen said most were vomiting but all were recovering by Tuesday.

According to the hotel, a group of people fell ill after eating a catered lunch.

During a news conference Tuesday, Cullen thanked the Tucson Fire Department for responding to the incident.

She said TFD provided IVs and medication while the county also brought additional resources to the scene.

Cullen said the county, state and hotel management are investigating the incident.

International Rescue Mission, who had provided the catered meal, said everyone affected was doing well as of Tuesday evening.

IRC leaders said in a statement it did not appear to be caused by foul play, and they are actively reviewing their catering standards to ensure there are no similar incidents in the future.

“We will work diligently going forward to ensure that our clients are getting healthy food and safe housing,” IRC leaders wrote in a statement.

Red Roof released the following statement about the incident.

“Yesterday, a group with the International Rescue Committee, as part of their work supporting Afghan refugees finding housing, had a lunch catered at the hotel and several people became ill. The Pima County Health Department responded, and hotel management closed the lobby out of an abundance of caution, but the hotel and other guests were not evacuated or affected. As of today, we have been told that all those affected are fine and doing well. We are glad to know that all are well, and we are appreciative of the Pima County Health Department and first responders for their timely response and support. We will continue to fully cooperate with any investigation the Pima County Health Department deems necessary”.

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