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City, state health departments investigating food-poisoning cases after ‘Best of Baltimore’ party

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BALTIMORE — It was a night to celebrate some of Baltimore’s best that turned into a morning where guests felt their worst.

It has been nearly two weeks since the Best of Baltimore Party kicked off. Tonight, WJZ has learned that dozens of people are now recovering after they say they became sick from a potential food-poisoning outbreak.

After speaking with a few guests, it’s clear that they all have a similar story that seems to begin with eating chicken pate or shrimp.

“It was a fun night. It really was—and then it wasn’t,” Kristen Dorn said.


City, state health departments investigating food-poisoning cases after ‘Best of Baltimore’ party

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Dorn is still trying to recover from the best of Baltimore party nearly two weeks after she says she fell ill.

“For five days, I didn’t eat any solids straight,” Dorn said. “I was on a water-only diet.”

After ruling out COVID, Dorn says she missed out on a week of work and was stuck at home with a fever of about 104 degrees.

It was a similar story for Michael De Lara.

“Sweats, chills, and fever, under blankets when it’s 70 degrees in the house,” De Lara said of his symptoms.

Christine Saxon said she is still having gastrointestinal issues.

Saxon went to the emergency room for tests after experiencing severe pain, high fever, and an inability to keep anything in her system.

“I am running to the bathroom and not feeling good,” she said. “I’m still dehydrated. Anything I eat is going through my system.”

Baltimore’s health department is working with the state health department to investigate the potential food-poisoning outbreak and hopes to determine the source.

“Got 20 plus people basically with the same problems.” De Lara said.

Baltimore Magazine staff told WJZ that it has provided the Health Department with a list of vendors who attended the event. Magazine staff also notified everyone who bought tickets of the outbreak.

But frustrations continue to climb.

“It’s two weeks out,” Saxon said. “I don’t understand why this is taking this long.”

The health department has sent out a survey to attendees to try to track down the source of the illness. But WJZ was told that four restaurants were left off that list.

“Somebody should take accountability whether its compensation, a refund,” De Lara said.

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