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CNY woman sues catering company after guests at wedding reception got sick

Macaroni and cheese (Photo: Boston Market / Facebook MGN Online)

A Lafayette woman is suing a barbecue catering business over food that was served that sickened numerous guests at her wedding reception nearly three years ago.

According to court documents obtained by CNYCentral, Melissa Conarton filed a complaint against Douglas Tarpinian of Holy Smoke BBQ and Catering LLC, which operates out of Earlville, in Madison County.

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The documents state that Conarton, the bride of the wedding, held a reception at Arrowhead Lodge in Brewerton on July 31, 2015. Around 3 p.m., Conarton and her guests started eating food provided by Holy Smoke BBQ and Catering.

Around 6:45 p.m., guests started “started experiencing nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea after consuming food prepared, maintained, and served by defendant," according to the documents.

As a result, ambulances were called to the scene. "Shortly afterward, many other guests became ill in the aforesaid forms at which point more ambulances were contacted," the court documents said.

The filings said it was determined that the food — specifically the macaroni and cheese — was "strategically significant for "Staphylococcus aureus," a bacteria that causes food poisoning.

According to the documents, the incident and injuries were sustained by plaintiff by reasons of the negligence, carelessness and/or recklessness of Defendant of which include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Failure to properly prepare, maintain, and/or serve food fit for human consumption
  • Failure to take the temperature of the food at the time of service;
  • Failure to ensure all agents and/or employees were wearing gloves while serving customers;
  • Failure to provide adequate food samples for testing in a timely manner


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