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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

Clover’s Closure – Voluntary or Not – Doesn’t Matter to 12 with Salmonella

According to the Boston Globe’s Deborah Kotz, twelve cases of Salmonella were reported in June and early July among patrons of Clover’s various locations in Boston, Cambridge, and Brookline.  That prompted an inspection on July 12 that concluded:

This facility is closed, the food trucks are out of service; not food production from this facility for any retail affiliate or food trucks until further inspection….

Voluntary closure or not?

Erin Clossey from Wicked Local Burlington wrote:

In a July 13 post on the company’s website, CEO Ayr Muir writes that he was told by the state that in addition to the disease spreading through contaminated ingredients and cross-contamination, it can also come from infected workers, who could exhibit no symptoms.

“Knowing that, and not knowing much else we decided to close all operations this weekend as a precaution until we learn more,” Muir wrote. “The most recent case they know about was from June 27. We don’t want even the chance to creating illness, so we thought it best to close our operations until we know more.”

When asked to clarify if he voluntarily closed the locations himself, or if he was ordered shut down by the city, he said, “It’s complicated.”

As I said about the July 12 violations found on the inspection:

“These are serious violations that get health inspectors pretty agitated. They’re the kinds of things that get people sick,” because they can allow pathogens such as salmonella to multiply, said William Marler, a food safety lawyer in Seattle.

I am sure that Ayr Muir is a good guy (damn prolific blogger), and that Clover’s vegetarian, organic and local food is a great concept, but it all does not trump good food safety practices.