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Police Discover Chemical in Cornbread

Police discovered A.B. Pinaca in cornbread that sent over a dozen people to the hospital. Vendors ate the cornbread at a pitch-in dinner on State Road 59 in Clay County leading up the Parke County Covered Bridge Festival.
Over a dozen people were sent to the hospital after eating contaminated cornbread at a pitch-in dinner surrounding the Covered Bridge Festival. The substance that sickened them is called A.B. Pinaca. It's a chemical imported from China.

"There's no sue for it as consumable. It's not for human consumption whatsoever," said Clay County Chief Deputy Rob Gambill. "It's used in some kind of testing and so forth. Nothing that should ever be consumed by a human."

And for that reason not much testing has been done on the drug. Doctors don't know a lot and police aren't even sure about the legality of it. Gambill said the lack of knowledge has caused concern among the victims.

"One of the concerning parts of this is some of the victims have existing health concerns," Gamill said. "They ingested this drug or this chemical unintentionally and it's unknown what kind of interactions it may have with the drugs they're already taking."

The vendors were located along State Road 59 in Clay County leading up to the Parke County Covered Bridge Festival. Officials with the festival say it's important for people to know the bakers of the cornbread were not associated with the Covered Bridge Festival.

"Our Parke County sanitarian, Libby Dowd Wright, goes out during the festival with other inspectors and they go to the facility where the food is being processed and check each one of the vendors out," said Cathy Harkrider.

You must apply for a temporary food permit to sell your items at the festival. There were 371 vendors at this year's festival and 367 of those booths were checked out by the health department. Harkrider says if any of them are found not following the rules, there's consequences.

"If someone is not following the local and state laws then they would have to be shut down."

There have not been charges filed against the couple that baked the cornbread. Police will finish their investigation. They will then turn it over to the prosecutor's office who will make the decision.
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