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Local residents wary of Sheetz food

July 17, 2004|by PEPPER BALLARD

pepperb@herald-mail.com

No lettuce, no tomato, please.

Some Sheetz customers in Hagerstown said they are wary of Sheetz food following the news that more than 60 salmonellosis cases were linked to 300 of the chain's convenience stores in Maryland, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina and Ohio.

Roma tomatoes and lettuce suspected of causing the illness were pulled from the chain's convenience stores Wednesday and its sandwich counters were disinfected.

Jeremy Malatt said he goes to Sheetz four to five times a week for food but plans to cut back.

Malatt, 22, of Williamsport, stopped by Sheetz at the intersection of South Potomac Street and Oak Ridge Drive Friday afternoon to get a money order.

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He heard the news Thursday after he ate a cold cut sub - "always with lettuce and tomato" - from the convenience store.

"I figured I'm not going there for a while," he said.

Katie Lynch is a big fan of Sheetz Caesar salads.

"I'm scared," she said, adding that she ate a salad from Sheetz on Wednesday. Lynch, 18, of Hagerstown, was walking into the South Potomac Street store Friday to get "just a drink."

Pat Kurtz said her family goes to the Sheetz at the intersection of Mapleville Road and U.S. 40 "all the time" for food, adding, "We've never had a problem."

Kurtz, 50, of Hagerstown, said she was on vacation last week and her sons "came here every day."

"I don't know what you'd do without Sheetz for teenage boys," she said.

Rick Lashley, 52, of Boonsboro, said he's not deterred by the news, either.

"It could be anywhere," he said.

Kara Norton, who works at Sheetz on Virginia Avenue, was headed into the South Potomac Street Sheetz on Friday afternoon.

Norton, 18, of Hagerstown, said business at her store has not been affected. And the news, she said, has not affected her taste for Sheetz food.

"I'm not worried," she said. "We change gloves more often and we sanitize more."

Bobby Fowler said he is pretty forgiving about the incident.

"I would say it was just a mishap along the way," he said. "It's not totally their fault."

Fowler, 40, of Hagerstown, said he usually gets the "Hamzel and Pretzel" sandwich and then, laughing, said, "With the lettuce and tomato."

He then added, "I might have to hold on that."

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