Caterer surrenders food service permit after preparing food that made 77 people sick at wedding

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MOULTON, Ala. – A Moulton caterer has surrendered his food service permit to the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) after preparing food for a wedding in November that made dozens of people sick.

Darvin McDaniel of Indelible Catering is no longer authorized to prepare food for catering in Alabama.

McDaniel’s business prepared food for a wedding in Sheffield in November 2016.  Dozens of people had to seek treatment, while others had to be hospitalized.  In all, 77 people became ill from the Salmonella outbreak.

State health officials say Indelible Catering worked with investigators to determine the cause, and voluntarily stopped preparing food after the outbreak.

“The health department’s priority is the health of the public and preventing any additional foodborne illnesses,” said Dr. Scott Harris, Assistant State Health Officer.  “Make sure the caterer you hire for any event has a permit from the health department.”

In the investigation, ADPH followed standard outbreak procedures including interviewing patients, obtaining patient specimens, inspecting the food source, and obtaining food samples for processing by the Alabama Department of Public Health’s laboratory.

WHNT News 19 talked with the couple who got married.  Desiree and Martez Cole’s wedding was the talk of the town in the Shoals for that reason, plus a scare with the bride’s ring.

Food safety practices can reduce the risk of foodborne outbreaks. Some measures to reduce illness include keeping food properly refrigerated before cooking, washing hands with soap and warm water before handling foods, and cleaning surfaces before preparing foods on them.

Follow these practices when preparing foods:

• Separate cooked foods from ready-to-eat foods.

• Do not use utensils on cooked foods that were previously used on raw foods and do not place cooked foods on plates where raw foods once were unless the plates have been cleaned thoroughly.

• Cook foods to a safe internal temperature. Use a meat thermometer to make sure foods are cooked to a safe temperature.

• Chill foods promptly after serving and when transporting from one place to another.

Safe temperatures for food preparation are available on many websites including foodsafety.gov.