Anzac Day ‘food poisoning’ mystery deepens


Multiple independent tests of the terrine by the MCC, the Department of Human Services and the catering company, Epicure, are all understood to have been inconclusive. There was believed to be nothing in the tests that pointed the finger at the rabbit.

Indeed, at least one of the sick patrons had not had the terrine that day and only drank water before they became ill.

So, the water has been tested and analysed and those tests, too, were inconclusive.

There was some doubt whether the terrine could be the cause, as the impact was almost instantaneous.

The people who got sick were all tested and there was nothing that could be found from those samples to point the finger at a cause.

The air conditioning was a suspect but repeated tests have revealed nothing there. The air conditioning has regardless been repeatedly scrubbed and cleaned.

Then suspicion fell on the beer. The beer lines, taps, glasses, dishwasher, tea towels and bar staff’s fingernails were all checked and cleared. The watercress garnish has been rigorously tested and drew as much interest from scientists as from the diners.

The flowers and table decorations were checked for exotic polination, but nothing was found.

Everything that can be sampled and tested as a possible cause of the outbreak has been tested and it is understood that at this stage nothing has come back positive. Which is not to say they won’t yet find the source on re-testing, but right now the mystery deepens.

There were more functions held in the Olympic Room in the days after the Anzac Day outbreak and they were all without incident. There have been hundreds of functions held at the ground since, along with 10 AFL games and all without a stomach grumble, save for the rising bile of Melbourne fans on Sunday. That was immediately diagnosed upon reading the Demons’ half-time scoreline.

Michael Gleeson is an award-winning senior sports writer specialising in AFL and athletics.

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