Riverside County Public Health announced an investigation of over 40 reports of food poisoning from shuttle bus drivers who worked at the Coachella music festival. The investigation was announced on April 26, 2022, and according to The Riverside University Health System (RUHS) many of the reported cases stated they had contracted food poisoning early Monday morning after eating a catered dinner that was provided by the company. The name of the caterer or the food that was served to the shuttle bus drivers has not been specified at this time, but Riverside County has announced that the caterers were unaffiliated with the festival.
The outbreak investigation is still very new, Riverside County Public Health is still trying to find the cause of the food poisoning and exactly how many people were sickened. Health department officials have also stated that they have notified healthcare agencies across Southern California since most of the drivers are believed to be from outside Riverside County. Riverside officials are working hard to pinpoint what happened and prevent it from reoccurring. Kim Saruwatari, director of Riverside County Public Health, stated:
“This could involve hundreds of interviews, but it is important to gather as much information as possible so that we can determine what happened and try to prevent it from happening again.”
RUSHS also stated in a news release:
“Many of those who got sick live outside Riverside County and may have sought medical care from a hospital or medical provider in another jurisdiction.”
With so many people potentially ill and very little information to go on, health officials are advising drivers who attended the catered dinner and became ill to seek medical attention as soon as possible. The drivers should also inform their health care providers that they attended the catered dinner at Coachella. Symptoms to be on the lookout for are stomach cramps, nausea, and diarrhea since at least three patients were taken to three hospitals in the Coachella Valley with similar symptoms. Ron Simon, a National Food Poisoning Lawyer, offered this advice for those who became ill:
“Certain foodborne illnesses are notifiable, meaning healthcare professionals must report it when they diagnose it in a patient. You should report it yourself if your doctor hasn’t already. This helps public health officials identify outbreaks and address the source. Contact your local health department if you suspect you’ve been a victim of any foodborne illness outbreaks.”
For more information on the Coachella music festival food poisoning outbreak, to speak to a Food Poisoning Lawyer, or to inquire about a Food Poisoning Lawsuit, call 1-888-335-4901.