Written by Ashton Snyder on
 May 17, 2024

Guacamole Incident at Hillcrest Country Club Results in Mass Hospitalizations

Hillcrest Country Club, a long-standing Los Angeles institution known for its illustrious member list, including Vice President Kamala Harris and her husband Doug Emhoff, is now under the scrutiny of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.

According to Daily Mail, an alarming food poisoning outbreak at the Hillcrest Country Club has drawn widespread attention.

After a dinner event on April 7, over 70 members experienced severe symptoms, with some hospitalized in critical condition due to shigella contamination.

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health initiated an investigation promptly after being notified of the outbreak on April 12.

Focused Investigation on Club’s Alfresco Dinner

Reports indicate that the likely source of the outbreak was tainted guacamole served during an alfresco dining event. This has resulted in a severe backlash against the club’s management of food safety protocols.

Hillcrest Country Club issued a statement suggesting the contamination might have been caused by an ill individual rather than the food itself. The statement noted that the guacamole ingredients are also used in other recipes throughout the week, which had not resulted in any illness.

Dan Meherin, the general manager, asserted the club’s commitment to health and safety, stating their cooperation with health officials who found the club's response satisfactory despite the outbreak.

Community Reaction and Ongoing Legal Issues

Despite reassurances from management, many members have voiced dissatisfaction and mistrust toward the club's handling of the situation. An anonymous member criticized the management team's remote working conditions, suggesting a decline in food quality oversight.

Simultaneously, Hillcrest is battling legal challenges, including a lawsuit accusing the club of discrimination and negligence related to separate incidents of misconduct.

Lyne Richardson, an attorney representing Hillcrest, firmly denied the allegations in the lawsuit, claiming they lack factual support and are purely inflammatory.

Implications for Hillcrest’s Future

The ongoing investigation could lead to a downgrade of Hillcrest’s food safety rating, which would significantly blow its prestige. The club has long been a gathering spot for celebrities and high-profile individuals, making any negative publicity especially impactful.

Richard Sandler, a partner at Maron & Sandler and a long-time club member, defended the club’s management, praising its efficiency in addressing issues as they arise.

In conclusion, the outbreak at Hillcrest Country Club has left many members questioning the management’s effectiveness and has sparked a wider debate on food safety in private clubs. The club’s future now hangs in the balance as legal and health investigations continue, with its reputation and operational standards under close examination.

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About Ashton Snyder

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