DHEC Investigation Centers Around Camden Business


(Camden) - According to the South Carolina Department of Health & Environmental Control, 71 people have now been treated for food poisoning since Saturday in Kershaw County.

Of those 71, preliminary results show four of the cases as salmonella.

News19 has also learned of one death over the weekend, although Kershaw County Coroner Johnny Fellers cannot yet say if the death is connected to the illness outbreak.

The coroner says 58-year-old James Arledge died sometime late Saturday or early Sunday. Fellers says Arledge of Camden was never treated at the hospital although some of the man's family members were treated for possible food poisoning symptoms.

Fellers' office has not determined the man's cause of death and is awaiting "culture test results."

Kershaw Medical's CEO, Donnie Weeks, says even though the majority of the patients came to the emergency room throughout the weekend, several other people came to the hospital after referrals from private physicians.

In all, ten people were admitted to the hospital. One person has since been released. Providence Northeast in Richland County also treated two patients.

A nursing supervisor in Kershaw County told News19 on Sunday night that all of the patients had similar symptoms such as nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

A DHEC official says the investigation centers around "Old South," a restaurant in Camden.

The restaurant has a pretty good history with DHEC. On a routine inspection in August of last year. They scored a 91, which is an "A" grade.

And in 2003, the scored an 88 on a routine inspection and a 100 on that follow-up.

DHEC has set up a phone bank to answer questions from anyone who may have become sick after eating at the restaurant. The numbers to call are: