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WDAY: The News Leader

Published November 28, 2011, 07:10 PM

Inmates sickened at Cass County Jail

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - Ninety percent of Inmates at the Cass County Jail are sick today with flu-like symptoms. Now jail and public health officials are covering all angles to find out where the illness came from.

Ninety percent of Inmates at the Cass County Jail are sick today with flu-like symptoms. Now jail and public health officials are covering all angles to find out where the illness came from.

Of the 184 inmates locked up last night, more than 150 of them are estimated to have experienced diarrhea and vomiting throughout the night. Now jail officials believe it could be linked to last night's meal.

Sheriff Paul Laney – Cass County: “A lot of the symptoms are pretty much like you and I, if you don't feel good or have the flu or some type of food poisoning, you want to lay up in bed and you don't want anybody to bother you.”

Last night's meal was ChiliMac - which included ground turkey, cornbread, corn and cookies. The kitchen is run by CBM Food Services. They are contracted to handle all staffing, supervise jail workers and order all food.

The jail nurses first noticed symptoms this morning. After being advised by the state they told inmates to rest and keep hydrated. If it is a foodborne illness, officials are unsure if the contamination occurred in the jail or before the food got there.

Sheriff Paul Laney: “We are obviously being very diligent and have our medical personnel go from pod to pod and talk with people. We are already seeing a large number of inmates eating lunch today. It seems to be passing very quickly.”

Public Health Officials have not narrowed down any foods at this time. The jail keeps samples of all meals for 7 days. Every food item will be tested for contaminants.

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