Thunder Bay Moose Hall kitchen reopens

The Thunder Bay District Health Unit has allowed the kitchen at the Moose Hall to reopen, with conditions.

People fell ill from a suspected food-borne illness at a Christmas banquet

About 270 people attended a banquet dinner at the Moose hall on Friday, Dec. 13. (Adam Burns/CBC)

The Thunder Bay District Health Unit has allowed the kitchen at the Moose Hall to reopen, with conditions.

The kitchen was closed last week after a food-borne illness that health officials now say left at least 13 people ill following a Christmas banquet Dec. 13.

The health unit charged the hall for failing to keep food at proper temperatures.

In a news release Monday, it said the operator of the hall has cooperated fully during the investigation and has implemented changes to food preparation.

Hall complying with agreement

Public health inspector Allyson Veneziano told CBC News the hall has also arranged for service to a dishwasher, and has hired a certified food handler (CFH) for the upcoming New Year's Eve function.

She said those are components of the agreement to allow the kitchen to reopen.

Veneziano said there was no CFH present during the banquet where people fell ill. She said that is not a legal requirement in Ontario, but is strongly recommended.

The health unit says it is still waiting for the results of lab tests aimed at identifying the exact cause of the illness.

In a news release last week, the health unit said it estimated that 20% of the 270 attendees at the Christmas dinner had come down with symptoms including severe cramping, vomiting and diarrhea. However it clarified on Monday that the estimate was based on a sampling of about 85 individuals, and that not everyone had been contacted to date.

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