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NC Health Officials: Barbecue Event Sickened 71

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(Photo by Ross Land/Getty Images)

(Photo by Ross Land/Getty Images)

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SHELBY, N.C. (AP) — Health officials say they’re interviewing people who visited a Shelby church barbecue dinner that left more than 70 people sickened by salmonella.

Cleveland County Health Department officials say the outbreak put 13 people into hospitals. Health officials say only three people remained in hospitals Friday, when the total sickened reached 71. The nine people were reported ill Tuesday.

Officials say interviews will help find the cause of the outbreak linked to the barbecue fundraiser at Sandy Plains Baptist Church on Sept. 7.

Sandy Plain Baptist is nearly 160 years old and has sponsored the barbecue event for 50 years. Proceeds finance missions and a Christmas nativity scene. Pastor Garin Hill says up to 5,000 people come for barbecue pork and chicken and such an outbreak has never happened before.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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