UTC leaders are working with officials of the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Health Department to figure out the cause of an illness affecting about 25 students and staff at the university, according to an email from Richard Brown, vice chancellor of finance and operations.
Since Aug. 20, about 25 people have reported symptoms like prolonged diarrhea, fever, abdominal cramping, nausea, vomiting and chills.
Leaders with the health department confirmed cases of both salmonella and campylobacter, also according to the email.
"The health department has informed us that these results are suggestive of a chicken product, but it is uncertain at this time," Brown said in the email to faculty. "A specific source of the illness has not been identified, and the investigation is ongoing."
The number of students reporting symptoms is waning now, he said.
University officials have pulled all the chicken products from campus dining facility Campus Crossroads. And officials are reviewing the handling procedures for chicken.
When officials became aware of the illnesses, health department leaders inspected the campus food services, and the two facilities received scores of 95 and 99, according to Brown's email.
Aramark, which is contracted to handle food services at UTC, has also been in touch with food suppliers to check food quality.
Brown said school officials are committed to the health of everyone who comes to campus and will continue to monitor conditions.
"After a thorough examination of UTC dining facilities, the source of the illness remains unknown," he said. "UTC dining facilities, including Crossroads, have been inspected by the health department several times, and to date, no specific problems have been found. In fact, while serving thousands of meals each day, UTC dining continues to earn high marks for its food preparation and serving safety procedures."
He encouraged anyone who has experienced the digestive stress symptoms to contact Student Health Services at 423-425-2266 or the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Health Department at 423-209-8190.
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