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70 health department employees get sick after eating at agency’s annual holiday luncheon catered by Bad Ass Sandwich

By Mason White 5:02 PM December 25, 2016
Catered event (illustration)
By: Chan Yuan

The New Mexico Department of Health launched an investigation after multiple staff members fell ill following an annual holiday event.

The annual holiday luncheon was held at the Harold Runnels Building in Santa Fe.

A total of 200 health department employees attended the luncheon, and 70 people reported that they felt sick following the event.

The event was catered, and it appears that food were contaminated by bacillus cereus or clostridium perfringens, which are toxins that causes food poisoning.

The food was sent to a laboratory for testing. Investigators found that the caterer did not have a license to serve food for such an event.

The caterer was identified as Bad Ass Sandwich Co., which has recently renamed Kick Ass Sandwich Shop. The caterer has received a notice of violation.

The owner of the restaurant denied catering the food at the event.

Employees of the health department said that they suffered abdominal cramps and a little bit of diarrhea for a couple of hours.

The restaurant faces a fine of up to $500.