Cambridge city health inspectors yesterday tentatively ruled out food poisoning as the cause of last week's outbreak of stomach ailments among Quincy House students, confirming an earlier University report.
After visiting the Quincy kitchen, senior inspector Joseph M. Nicoloro said the facilities "reached the minimum requirements" although he did find a few "minor violations."
"Basically, they agreed with our conclusions" that the sickness was not the result of food poisoning, said Dr. Warren E.C. Wacker, director of the University Health Service. Jessie A. Morton, a sanitary impactor for UHS, said the disease was probably viral gastroenteritis, a form of "the flu that everybody's been having all winter."
The stomach ailment attacked at loast 75 Quincy House residents March 4 and 5. prompting initial speculation that the cause was food contamination. However, Wacker said food and stool cultures taken from the stricken students turned out negative, adding that similar cases were seen both before and after the mysterious outbreak, and that the disease was also found at several Houses.
While the "cluntering" of cases was suspicious, it did not necessarily indicate a unique cause, like food poisoning. Wacker said.
The Cambridge City Council last week ordered the city's health inspector to investigate the possibility of food poisoning in the Quincy kitchen Mayor Alfred E. Velluci Monday urged the health department to issue a report as soon as possible.
Nicolors said a final report would be filed by the end of the week.