At least five individuals have come down with symptoms of foodborne illness apparently linked to the Ivy Club, a local health inspector confirmed Thursday.
A total of nine individuals reported to McCosh Health Center on Thursday with symptoms of gastroenteritis, University Spokesperson Martin Mbugua said. He explained that the cases all appeared to be tied to a particular location, but declined to identify it.
“It appears to be a foodborne illness and further tests will be conducted to determine the nature of the illness,” Mbugua added.
Local health inspector Keith Levine said he was called on Thursday to the Ivy Club to investigate the source of the illness.
“When there is an outbreak, the health department is alerted,” Levine said. “It appears to be that there is a single source and that is why this is referred to as an outbreak.”
Gastroenteritis is a viral disease in which the gastrointestinal tract becomes inflamed. Its symptoms include vomiting, abdominal pain and diarrhea. Outbreaks of gastroenteritis occurred on campus between January and February in 2012 and 2013.
The University has notified local and state health authorities about the cases.
The Daily Princetonian independently verified Thursday night that five Ivy Club members reported symptoms of gastroenteritis and were in McCosh. One of them said she was at McCosh along with other Ivy members.
A separate Ivy member, who was interviewed outside the club and granted anonymity to freely discuss the situation, said that the club had not officially informed members about the situation.
“There haven’t been warnings. People, like, we know that people got sick … [But] I don’t think anyone knows specifically what caused the people to get ill,” the student said. “We haven’t been told anything.”
“There are a few people from Ivy who are in McCosh,” Ivy Club president Thatcher Foster ’14 said.
In January and February of 2013, 115 students came down with gastroenteritis. The year before, 275 students came down with gastroenteritis, the largest outbreak at the University recorded in the past decade.
A food inspection report filed by the Princeton Regional Health Department on Nov. 4, 2013 rated Ivy’s kitchen facilities as satisfactory and reported that it had no major violations. The report notes that a few door handles and undersides of food prep tables showed “a lot of old dried food build-up” and that some stored pots and pans were damp while stacked.
The report also notes that good glove use and handwashing were observed in the Ivy kitchen.
Click here to view Ivy Club’s recent health inspection report.