Wild Africa Trek possible food illness. UPDATE - Final Report

Discussion in 'Theme Parks Attractions and Strategies' started by rkdahl, Jul 3, 2012.

  1. rkdahl

    rkdahl Mouseketeer

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    I thought I would post a note sharing an experience several of us had after taking the Wild Africa Trek tour at Animal Kingdom a few weeks back. I came down with what appeared to be a food borne illness and was sick an entire week. It was quite miserable and I even ended up in the ER after the illness started. This illness was associated with the trek tour because there were three of us that came down with the exact same symptoms at the same time after eating the exact same meal and drink. We are from three separate families and all live in the Orlando area.

    This all started after myself and two of my friends decided to go on the Wild Africa Trek tour. We are from three separate households, the wives decided to go shopping that day, lucky for them. I drove over, picked up my 2 friends and headed to Animal Kingdom. We got there about 45 min before the tour and walked around a bit but ate or drank nothing before we checked in for the tour. We went on the tour and actually had an incredibly fun tour and a great time! We ate out on the savannah at the pavilion and the 12 of us on the tour parted with our group picture. We then left the park, I drove my friends home, dropped them off and then headed home.

    After a time, I became quite ill. After about about 24 hours of illness, my wife took me to the ER for complications caused by the illness. My wife called one of my friends as we were heading to the ER and surprisingly found out he was also sick, with the same symptoms. Then we called our other friend and he too was sick with the exact same symptoms! We were shocked. The only food or drink we had in common that day was the food and drink the tour. We had not even seen each other or had any family contact the entire week before the tour.

    We reported the incident to Disney as soon as we realized we were all sick. They took a report and said they would look into it. We are expecting an update in a few days. We also contacted our local county health department and they launched an investigation which is still in progress. I received a call today from the health department and was informed additional people on other days have reported becoming ill. Although they did not share what days or how many reports were involved.

    I thought I should share this on the boards in case anyone else might have gotten sick in the last several weeks following a Wild Africa Trek tour. If so, I would urge you to immediately contact the Orange or Osceola County health departments. It would be difficult for a family on vacation to associate an illness with one particular meal. However in our case, we all ate only one meal together, we are from 3 separate households, and no one else in our households got sick. The health department said it was an unusual situation and it helped them jump start their investigation into a possible source.

    As of now none of us know what caused this, the investigation is in progress. The chances this was caused by food or drink on the Trek tour is extremely high. I'll advise when we find out more of what happened. I purposely am not including a description of the symptoms of our illness which were quite specific. However, so far, everyone reporting being sick has had the same symptoms.

    Again, if anyone might have encountered a suspected food borne illness and has been to Animal Kingdom and on the Trek tour, I would urge you to contact the health departments above and share the specifics of your situation to see if it might be related to others. If anyone has an questions feel free to PM me or post here.

    UPDATED 3/4/2013: The Florida Health Dept released it's final report on this food borne outbreak today. I have added this entry to the original post for those that would like to look at the report and it's conclusions. You can download the report here: https://dl.dropbox.com/u/19948123/Orange 4812009.pdf
     
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  3. J&J

    J&J DIS Veteran

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    thank you for posting this you never know what can happen. Did Disney follow through with calling you and doing something about this?
     
  4. Steve's Girl

    Steve's Girl DIS Veteran

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    Oh goodness! Hope all 3 of you have fully recovered!

    I took the tour in January and loved it! Had no issues with the food. I am hoping the health dept. and Disney can quickly find the issue and get it resolved.
     
  5. Eljay

    Eljay DIS Veteran

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    Thank you for reporting this and persuing it so thoroughly.
    Whenever I hear about someone claiming to be sick from a meal or a restaurant visit, my first thought is usually that it must have been something that they were exposed to earlier, that coincidentally was blamed on the meal in question. In your case, it's quite clear that the source of contamination was the meal on the tour.

    I hope everyone recovers quickly and that Disney is able to prevent similar incidents.
     
  6. SamSam

    SamSam http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis-sponsor/index.

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    Dh and I plan on doing this tour at the end of September, hopefully it will all be figured out by then.

    Glad you are all okay now.
     
  7. GillianP1301

    GillianP1301 DIS Veteran

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    Did any of the other 9 people get sick as well? And if not, do you know if the 3 of you had something to eat that they didn't? Just wondering if you've pinpointed it to a specific food from that day or if it's a larger more general issue with the food prep for that tour.

    I'm sorry this happened to you and hope you're feeling all better now.
     
  8. rgf207

    rgf207 DIS Veteran

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    Thanks for this information. It sounds like there was a problem with the food on this tour. Another source could be the person or persons who handled the food. They may not have followed proper food handling or hand washing procedures
     
  9. rkdahl

    rkdahl Mouseketeer

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    The health department has gone through an item by item list with each of us to see of the food/drink offered what we each ate. At this time they do not have a specific food pinpointed.

    As far as the other 9 guests on the tour, we are not aware if any of them have been ill or not. Since most of them were 'tourists' just passing through we don't have any contact with them. Disney obviously has their names and addresses but we are not aware of any attempt to contact them. The health dept was going to pursue that angle but I don't know if Disney allowed that information to be shared with them.

    Until they contacted us all again yesterday we assumed it was over and past, but it appears now they have multiple reports of illness. Looking forward to getting it resolved. We don't want anyone to go through what we did.
     
  10. rkdahl

    rkdahl Mouseketeer

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    I had a conversation with the Fl Dept of Health today about our illness investigation.. I asked him how many reports of illness they had received since our illness on the Wild Africa Trek tour. He said as of yesterday there had been 18 reports of food illness. we were 3 of those, so at least 15 other people have become I'll since early June.

    I sure hope they get to the bottom of this quickly!
     
  11. SamSam

    SamSam http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis-sponsor/index.

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    Thanks for keeping us updated.
     
  12. Steve's Girl

    Steve's Girl DIS Veteran

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    It is very likely that there are more people that have gotten sick that just have not reported it. They really need to get this resolved!
     
  13. NikkiLovesWDW!

    NikkiLovesWDW! "Are you seeing an increase in lateral forces?" "S

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    Wow, 18 people? That's not good. We did the tour in February and we were fine. I didn't eat a lot of that food though. I wonder if all the illnesses were recent, like they got a bad batch of something. I really hope this gets resolved quickly!
     
  14. Deb & Bill

    Deb & Bill DVC-Trivia Contest, Apr-2006: Honorable Mention

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    All the other 15 were also on the tour at other times? Or were they unrelated to the tour?
     
  15. mattsdragon

    mattsdragon <font color=red>DDC #595 <img src=http://photopost

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    I'm not deeply knowledgable of this tour, but I have a few questions.

    What do they feed you on the tour? Is it a specified picnic stop on the tour or are there snacks provided in a cooler.

    Do you handle any reptiles or birds while touring?
     
  16. txo1474

    txo1474 Earning My Ears

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    Sorry to hear about your illness. I was on the 1145 tour on 6/11, didnt become sick. Not sure if this will help pinpoint the source, but I tried everything except the seafood items and the juice.

    Thanks for reporting this, I hope they can figure out what happened and prevent future problems!
     
  17. larryz

    larryz A few of my favorite turrets... DIS Lifetime Sponsor

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    My God, man, that's terrible! Hope you're fully recovered.

    So, the incipient journalist inside me wants to know -- what exactly did you have to eat in that meal.

    Not that lightning ever strikes twice in the same place or anything (it does!), but once bitten, twice shy, if you don't mind the cliche...
     
  18. Deb & Bill

    Deb & Bill DVC-Trivia Contest, Apr-2006: Honorable Mention

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    If there was a problem at Disney, I'm sure they have identified it by now because they don't want the negative publicity to make them lose money. They are going to go over their kitchens, their policies, their staff to make sure it doesn't happen again if it did result from their tour.
     
  19. mattsdragon

    mattsdragon <font color=red>DDC #595 <img src=http://photopost

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    Which one?
     
  20. padkins

    padkins Earning My Ears

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    I have read this board forever and love it but have never posted. This thread made me have to post. On June 8th I was on the trek and the next night by midnight I was extremely sick. The vomiting lasted about five hours but the severe pain, cramping and diarrhea lasted over a week. It was the sickest I've ever been.
    Yesterday I read this and then checked the mail last night to find a letter from the Orange County health department with information about the investigation and asking me to call if I had gotten sick. It was after hours but I left a message. Hopefully someone will get back to me next week. Should I contact Disney directly as well?
    I have only had food poisoning one other time but this was exactly the same, but worse. It was two weeks before I felt "right" again.
     
  21. rkdahl

    rkdahl Mouseketeer

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    The food served on the Trek is a selection of various small portion items that give you a sample of various foods. For example they had fruit melon balls, pita bread, hummus, thinly sliced ham and beef, salmon and cream cheese roll, shrimp, an edible orchid, a bended fruit juice, a water canteen and a few other items. You can find pictures of the food by using Google and searching for Wild Africa Trek food pictures.

    Everyone gets served the same meal, however different people eat different items of course. The food actually tasted very good at the time. Not so much later....
     

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