CONCORD, N.C. — Health officials in Cabarrus County said nearly 300 people contracted food poisoning from Brunswick stew sold at a church fundraiser event in Concord.

The Cabarrus Health Alliance announced they tested all the food sold at the Poplar Tent Presbyterian barbeque event and discovered bacteria in the stew.

“My husband picked up the barbecue, came home," Golda Jay said. "We had it for dinner, everything was fine, woke up around 2 a.m. -- me and the two boys got sick.”

Jay and her sons are just three of nearly three hundred people who fell ill after eating the Brunswick stew at the BBQ fundraiser earlier this month.

The Cabarrus Health Alliance said it tested positive for Clostridium perfringens, a type of bacteria that causes nearly a million food-related illnesses every year.

It grows when food hasn’t been refrigerated or thoroughly cooked in a while. Symptoms usually last less than a day and include cramping, nausea, and diarrhea.

This report came on the heels of another recent food party foul. In July, 33 people were hospitalized after eating food at a Charlotte neighborhood potluck. County health officials traced it to a dish that tested positive for fecal matter, likely from unwashed hands.

A spokesperson with the Poplar Tent BBQ said they are cooperating fully with Cabarrus Health Alliance to determine the cause of the problem, issuing the following statement to NBC Charlotte:

"Some of the Brunswick stew was found to contain bacteria. We are cooperating fully with Cabarrus Health Alliance to determine the cause of this problem, and what we need to do in future years to prevent it."

Food safety experts said to avoid getting food sickness:

  • Don’t let anything sit out for too long
  • If you’re reheating leftovers, get the food good and hot -- at least 165 degrees
  • Make sure your fridge is set to 41 degrees or colder

All steps to keep your stomach happy, not turning.

“We probably won’t be eating Brunswick stew anytime soon,” Jay laughed.

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