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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

Salmonella at Firefly in Las Vegas and Staphylococcus Aureus in Topeka

Setting up the Food Safety News booth today in Baltimore and reconnecting with food safety friends from around the world made me forget for a moment that perhaps food poisoning was still going on – but it is.

Health district officials say Salmonella is to blame for an outbreak at one of the most popular restaurants in Las Vegas, although the exact source is still unknown.  Southern Nevada Health District officials say more than three dozen patrons reported Salmonella food poisoning symptoms after dining at Firefly on Paradise Road. The restaurant was shuttered Friday and remains closed while health officials investigate.  Health district official Amy Irani said Monday that 39 patrons reported symptoms, and 10 said they sought medical attention. Symptoms included diarrhea and vomiting.

An East Topeka Mexican restaurant and meat market has been forced to temporary close after more than 20 people reportedly became sick after eating its food.  Carniceria Camecuaro, 1016 S.E. 6th, has been closed since Sunday after the Kansas Department of Agriculture advised it to shut down.  Carniceria Camecuaro will remain closed while KDA conducts follow-up inspections and directs potentially contaminated food to be thrown out. The staff also has to undergo further training regarding food safety codes. Depending on how that goes, the establishment could be open within the week, said Charlie Hunt, epidemiologist with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.  KDA and KDHE, which handles food-borne illness outbreaks, were advised of the issue Sunday when a local hospital reported at least four people suffering from food poisoning after eating at the restaurant, Hunt said.  Additional complaints have come in, he said, estimating that more than 20 people were affected by the restaurant’s food. Based on interviews, he said, the culprit looks to be the pork carnitas.  Although the investigation continues, the current hypothesis was that the food-borne illness was caused by a bacterium known as staphylococcus aureus, Hunt said.