Reports of food poisoning at homeless shelter in Salt Lake City, Utah; 50 people taken to hospital


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About 50 people were taken to Salt Lake City hospitals Sunday night after reports of food poisoning at a homeless shelter, and some individuals were transported by bus due to the high volume of patients; firefighters said there don't appear to be any serious illnesses as a result of the incident.

Jasen Asay, Salt Lake City Fire Department Spokesman, said about 50 individuals from the Road Home Shelter, located at 210 South Rio Grande, were taken to nearby hospitals. He said they evaluated the patients and transported some by ambulance and others who were less ill by bus.

"This evening around 9:30, the Salt Lake City Fire Department responded to several reports of food poisoning here at the shelter at 210 South Rio Grande," he said. "When our crews arrived, they started evaluating some people down here at the shelter, started noticing that a lot of them were suffering from symptoms similar to food poisoning."

The patients were taken to hospitals for treatment of symptoms that included vomiting and nausea.

"We've transported approximately 50 patients from both the men's shelter and the women and family shelter to the hospital in minor condition, no real serious injuries, but a lot of discomfort," Asay said.

Asay said they evaluated numerous patients and transported about 50 of them, and he added that more patients may have sought treatment at hospitals prior to when first responders were dispatched.

The exact cause of the illnesses remains unknown.

"As of right know we don't know the source," Asay said. "The health department is on scene, and they'll conduct the investigation to try to determine what caused the food poisoning, if it was food poisoning."

The health department is investigating, and FOX 13 News will have more information as it becomes available.

FOX 13 viewers on social media asked how they could help, and while we have not heard specific requests for help in connection with the incident, both the Road Home Shelter and Catholic Community Services' Vincent de Paul Resource on Rio Grande provide assistance to the area's homeless population. Click the respective links for more information.