AN INVESTIGATION has been launched into claims there was a food poisoning outbreak at a charity event in Leigh.

Equal People Performing Arts, Rayleigh, hosted its charity ball at the Arlington Ballroom, London Road, on Saturday.

A guest contacted the Echo stating up to 60 of the 200 guests were struck down with food poisoning after the event.

Equal People, a registered charity, confirmed environmental health is investigating, but would not comment further.

While the Arlington didn’t respond to a request for comment, Southend Council confirmed an investigation is taking place.

Guests had paid £55 per person to attend the charity ball, which included a three-course meal.

Elizabeth Georgeou, group manager of regulatory services at Southend Council, told how action was being taken following the evening.

She said: “Our Environmental Health team is currently investigating the circumstances surrounding reports of illness following an event in Southend on May 4.

“It is important to emphasise that it is too early to say what the cause of this illness was.

“We are working with other relevant health professionals to gather evidence and establish the cause as a priority.

“At this stage it would be inappropriate to speculate about what the investigation may find.”

The Arlington Ballroom was approached by the Echo for comment, but didn’t respond in time for our deadline. It is also unclear if the Ballroom provided the catering, or if it was an external agency or firm.

The resident who contacted the Echo said: “After speaking with many people, more than 60 diners have had food poisoning after attending a charity ball on Saturday night.

“The place is fully aware of what’s going on, but as far as I’m aware, no-one there has made an attempt to call back people who rang them up to complain.

“I would say that 60 plus people out of 200 is concerning and a very urgent matter to address especially as I know people who are meant to be attending this function room again this weekend.

“Too many people have been affected by this and have also lost working days following this.

“The fact is we paid £50 a head for a meal which seems to have made many many diners ill.

“I’m think this number if looked into could be even higher.”