January 22, 2018

Firefly Las Vegas Restaurant Salmonella Outbreak Sickens at Least 80 People

The Southern Nevada Health District is investigating a Salmonella outbreak associated with Firefly Tapas Restaurant and Bar at 3900 Paradise Road in Las Vegas. Public health officials believe more than 80 people have been sickened in this outbreak. The health department closed Firefly on April 26, 2013 after reports of illness began coming into the office.

The health department has identified the cause of the outbreak as Salmonella. The symptoms of salmonellosis, the illness associated with a Salmonella infection, include diarrhea, which can be bloody, fever, abdominal cramps, headache, loss of appetite, nausea, and sometimes vomiting. People usually get sick 6 to 72 hours after infection. Investigators do not know what food is the source of the outbreak.

Nationally known food safety attorney Fred Pritzker, who has represented clients in restaurant food poisoning outbreaks, said, “restaurants are supposed to use ‘reasonable care’ to ensure that the food they serve is safe and does not make anyone ill. In addition, anyone who sells food warrants that it is fit to eat. If someone has been sickened in this outbreak, they should seek medical attention immediately to prevent complications.”

Most people recover from a Salmonella infection within a week, but some become very ill and get dehydrated or develop sepsis, which is a blood infection. Those who are ill can pass the infection along to other people. Stay home if you are sick, don’t prepare or serve food or drink to others, and always wash your hands well after using the bathroom. Any food handlers who ate at Firefly and got sick should follow communicable disease protocols. Since the bacteria are excreted in feces, with some types of Salmonella, someone could be infectious for more than a year.

Public health officials are asking that anyone who ate at Firefly restaurant and became ill fill out a Foodborne Illness Complaint Form so they can track the outbreak. Your doctor should report the illness to authorities.

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