Salmonella Outbreak in Las Vegas More Than 80 People Sick

Firefly Tapas Kitchen & Bar

The famous restaurant Firefly Tapas Kitchen & Bar shut down on Friday after received 44 demerits in what SNHD is calling a routine inspection, although 39 people reported food-borne illness symptoms at that time. Since then the number has double now as many as 86 diners and four employees were stricken by the foodborne bacteria. John Simmons, Firefly’s owner, was “horrified” that his bastion of bacteria had made people sick — conveniently ignoring the fact that the same place was closed less than two years ago by the Health Department for numerous hygiene-related violations.

The Southern Nevada Health District inspected the location and found 44 demerits. The health agency determined the cause of the outbreak was salmonella, but are still investigating the culprit inside the restaurant. SNHD found spoiled food, staff not washing their hands properly, ineffective pest control measures and more during the inspection.

In a news conference, SNHD officials said at least a dozen people were hospitalized due to the salmonella outbreak. They believed those who ate food from the restaurant April 21-25 were affected. Three employees also were affected in the outbreak, officials said at the news conference.

Health officials said they were looking at 10 menu items to see if any of those was the cause of the outbreak.

“People have gotten sick here, and we’re trying to get to the bottom of it and figure out what happened,” said Firefly owner John Simmons.

“I’m sorry to say that Dragonfly is crossed off the list. Had the crawfish bisque and the samon salad-I vomited ALL of this up and felt better. My dinner companion did not eat her red snapper it was not fresh-wise woman. Steaks looked great and no one who ate steak got sick. Come on guys, we’re locals……you can do so much better than making folks sick with the seafood”

SNHD is reportedly testing the food at the restaurant, which will remain closed until the investigation is wrapped up. Environmental health director Amy Irani told 8 News Now that salmonella, the bacteria that causes food poisoning, could be caused by an employee not properly washing their hands.

“Salmonella is another instance of using raw eggs that are not pasteurized or product held at improper temperatures. So temperature violations, food handling violations, those are the major ones that cause any kind of foodborne illness.”

Las Vegas residents Tzahi and Julia Salomon will file a lawsuit against Firefly, the Las Vegas restaurant the Southern Nevada Health District identified as the source of an 86-person Salmonella outbreak in late April. The couple is represented by Seattle-based Marler Clark, the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of foodborne illness, and Las Vegas-based attorney Craig Murphy of Murphy & Murphy Law Offices.

The Salmonella lawyers of Marler Clark have represented thousands of victims of Salmonella and other foodborne illness outbreaks and have recovered over $600 million for clients.

Forty employees worked the dinner shift at the restaurant on April 26, 2013. Of these, 33 were interviewed. Three employees said they had recently been ill with gastrointestinal symptoms. The restaurant does have a sick employee policy. The outbreak was first reported by eight independent groups of the restaurant’s patrons on April 26, 2013. All of those sickened ate at the restaurant from April 21 to April 24, 2013. Symptoms of illness included diarrhea and/or vomiting.

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