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Tampa greyhound track’s tainted shrimp blamed for man’s death

in The Bay and the 'Burg by

The mother of a deceased Tampa man blames free shrimp on her son’s death. John Colic was just 48 years old at the time of his death. His mother, Mara Colic, said tainted shrimp was the culprit in his untimely death.

Colic enjoyed some complimentary shrimp while playing poker at the Tampa Greyhound track. Days later he fell ill and later died.

Mara Colic is now suing the Tampa Greyhound Track and Lucky’s Card room for damages associated with her son’s death.

In lawsuit documents filed last month, Colic claims the shrimp were “tainted” with Strep B bacteria and that her son was not the only person to get sick from the shrimp used to entice players to the room.

Colic does admit that her son’s diabetes placed him at greater risk, but alleges his death would not have occurred had it not been for the shrimp.

If Colic’s claims are accurate, it wouldn’t be the first time the track found itself under scrutiny for health violations.

Late last year the Greyhound track was the subject of an ABC Action news Dirty Dining episode in which a former employee released cell phone video showing rats in the kitchen.

The investigation led to additional checks by the health department that showed evidence of rodent infestation and a possible cover-up or negligence by the inspector who had given the track clean bills prior to the investigation.

Mara Colic is listed as her son’s “personal representative” and is overseeing his estate.

Janelle Irwin has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. She also hosts a weekly political talk show on WMNF Community radio. Janelle formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a diehard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and the ongoing Pier debacle. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also the devoted mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder. To contact, email

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