Spoiled spaghetti
sickens campers

Food poisoning hits more than
100 people at a camp on Molokai

More than 100 youth and adults from an Oahu church suffered food poisoning at a camp-out on Molokai yesterday after they ate leftover spaghetti that had been sitting in the sun.

Camp participant Ian Sua said "about 98 percent" of the 130 high school students and adults from the Waianae Ark of Safety Christian Fellowship got sick after eating reheated spaghetti leftovers that had not been refrigerated.

"I didn't eat any, that's why I'm OK," Sua said when he answered the phone at the Lamb of God Church and Bible School in Kalamaula, Molokai, about 7:30 p.m. yesterday.

The Waianae group had been camping on the grounds of the Lamb of God Church since Wednesday and were scheduled to return to Oahu tomorrow, Sua said.

The hosts for the youth ministry trip are affiliated with the Molokai church, Sua said.

Police, fire, ambulance and private vehicles were used to transport the food poisoning victims to Molokai General Hospital between 5:30 and 6 p.m., said police Lt. John Jakubczak.

"They didn't have enough cars to transport the bulk of the people," Jakubczak said.

Police left the hospital at 7:30 p.m. and were not asked to assist in transporting the campers back to the church, he said.

"They said they had eaten a meal of spaghetti and then people started throwing up," Jakubczak said. "It was such a big group, we were just concerned about getting people to the hospital."

Hospital staff said they treated dozens of patients for food poisoning, but gave no other details.

Dr. Lorrin Pang, the state Department of Health administrator for Maui, said he spoke to the doctor in charge at the hospital last night, and all the patients had been treated by 8:30 p.m.

"If you eat something and throw up ... in a few hours, it's usually a toxic product of a bacteria," Pang said. "The hospital had a lot of patients coming in, but they did pretty well."

Pang said most of the victims would probably feel OK today.

Samples of the food will be tested by the Health Department.


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