PulledPorkAccording to N.C. Department of Health and Human Services and Gaston County, pulled pork served at a church convention is most likely to blame for a Salmonella outbreak that sickened nearly 70 people last fall.

The investigation began after multiple people sought treatment in early October. The local health department collected information and found that many of the patients had attended a conference between Oct. 1 and 5 at Living Word Tabernacle Church in Bessemer City.

The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services partnered with the local health department to investigate the outbreak.

A report released this week found that Boston butts prepared by a church member was the likely cause.

The pork was cooked overnight in a smoker a day before it was served. Then it was returned to the smoker the day of the meals.

Some of the pork hadn’t cooked all the way through in time for lunch so it was cooked longer then taken to the church for dinner.

The church member who cooked the meat said it was cooked at 350 degrees the first night, but no cooking temperature was given for when the pork was put back on the grill the next day.

About 400 people attended the church conference, and Salmonella was confirmed in 69 patients. Three people were hospitalized.