Welly Ball Responds to Claims of Food Poisoning

Several guests complained of illness following the dinner.

Over 500 guests came to Kinkell Byre Saturday 11 November to dine as part of the annual Welly Ball. This year’s event was bigger than previous years, boasting a delicious meal and an even bigger afterparty in celebration of the ball’s 10th anniversary.

Welly Ball supports the Charlie Waller Memorial Trust and has been awarded the Mary Moloney plate by Charlie Waller in honour of Welly Ball’s support of the trust. Charlie Waller Memorial Trust seeks to empower and educate young people so that they can look after their mental health as well as instructing youth on how to look out for friends, family, and acquaintances exhibiting signs of depression. Welly Ball is holding a charity talk Monday 27 November at 4 pm in Brew Co. for all those interested.

Photo: Welly Ball Facebook Page

Annabel Burton, a student at St Andrews and one of the two directors of Welly Ball said, “So far we have had incredible feedback from our guests, a major talking point being the live music in the marquee. As a director, the run up to the event started in March, coming to a climax this semester as the whole committee worked hard to produce the aesthetic of the event.”

While the event ran smoothly and was logistically sound, after Welly Ball a few grievances surfaced. The main concern was food poisoning as several anonymous complaints were published on the St. Feuddrews Facebook page. The posters claimed they had gotten food poisoning from the dinner portion of the event and were asking for reparations from the Welly Ball committee.

Photo: St Feuddrews Facebook Page

Ms. Burton spoke on this again, stating, “We are aware that a dinner guest became concerned about sickness following the event. However, after speaking to the caterer they have been reassured that the incubation periods for bacteria which cause food poisoning are greater than the period of time between them eating the dinner and becoming unwell.” She continued to reiterate that all the food served complied with the Scotland Food Standards Agency.

A new catering company is not unusual for Welly Ball. The caterer has changed every year for the past three years in order to maximise savings and maximise food quality for Welly Ball guests. Ms. Burton expressed that “This year’s caterers have considerable experience catering for large events and were personally recommended by other event committees within the University of St Andrews. We were very impressed with the efficiency, professionalism and standard of this year’s caterer and would like to continue working with them. Indeed, many of our guests have given feedback saying it was some of the best food they have had at a St Andrews ball — not an easy feat considering it is one of the largest sit down dinners in Scotland”.

Photo: Lightbox Creative

Equally, all members of a particular table would have received food poisoning if the food was inadequate, due to the way the food is made and distributed. However, this is not the case as the complaints of food poisoning were rather sporadic.

Furthermore, Ms. Burton and the caterer have assured guests that all food served complied with standards. Besides the minor hitch, the event was an overall success and reached its capacity of 2,000 guests. However, if guests have further questions or concerns they are welcomed to email [email protected].



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