The Panera Bread in Seekonk, MA is now open again after a possible carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning in the store Friday.
Stocks went down after the reports of 18 people falling ill came out. Stocks began to return to normal after people learned that it was not foodborne illness. The stocks are currently at $214.57, down 0.56 percent.
Foodborne illness can make a restaurant’s stocks take a hit, as shown in the Chipotle E. Coli outbreak. News about the outbreak also spread over social media, increasing awareness of the outbreak.
News of the 18 customers falling ill in the Seekonk Panera Bread also spread over social media, with 150 comments and over 1,000 shares on a single article.
The Seekonk fire chief told a local news organization that people were complaining of an itching sensation in their throat and difficulty breathing. Five were transported to the hospital.
When firefighters arrived at 11:30 a.m., the restaurant was evacuated. Maintenance workers were going to investigate the heating and cooling system.
CO poisoning occurs when a fuel burning appliance, such as a hot water heater, oven, or furnace, is not ventilating or maintained properly. It can happen in any enclosed space, such as a garage, a home, or in this case a restaurant.
CO poisoning can be very serious, even deadly, because CO competes with oxygen in binding to the life-giving protein in red blood cells called hemoglobin that carries oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body. CO binds to hemoglobin with nearly 200 to 270 times the affinity of oxygen. When the body lacks oxygen in this way, cells begin to die and organs shut down.
The fire chief said he was looking into a possible Freon leak from the air conditioner that caused the sickness. Irritation of the throat is one symptom of mild Freon exposure. However, the store said the symptoms were consistent with carbon monoxide poisoning.
Source: Seekonk Panera Bread Re-Opens After Possible CO Poisoning Seekonk Panera Bread Re-Opens After Possible CO Poisoning
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