Foodborne Illness

About 70 employees get sick after health department party

The New Mexico Department of Health says dozens of its employees became sick after its holiday party.

The New Mexican reports (http://bit.ly/2hTiNvn ) that about 70 staff members say they had gastrointestinal issues after the luncheon last week. A spokesman says more than 200 employees attended the catered luncheon at the Harold Runnels Building in Santa Fe.

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Health Secretary Lynn Gallgher said Monday that investigators have not identified a specific contaminated food. She told her staff that the outbreak appears likely to have been caused by bacillus cereus or clostridium perfingens. Both can cause food-borne illness.

Epidemiologists are awaiting the results of laboratory test.