A lawsuit was filed against the Fig & Olive restaurant chain for a client after she was seriously sickened with a Salmonella infection. She ate at the Fig & Olive Washington D.C. location on August 31, 2015. Her dinner included croquettes with truffle oil. Two days later she became violently ill and was hospitalized for four days. She requires continuing medical treatment to this day.
The Salmonella outbreak at the Fig & Olive restaurants in Washington D.C. and Melrose Place, Los Angeles, California, has sickened almost two hundred people. More cases are waiting confirmation with laboratory analysis.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has taken over the case from the Washington D.C. Department of Health and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, although those two agencies are assisting in the investigation. The CDC has not issued any type of statement or report on the outbreak. Environmental and food samples were taken from the D.C. location; most came back negative, although some samples are still at laboratories.
Ryan Osterholm, noted national food safety attorney, said about this outbreak, “The Salmonella outbreak related to dining at Fig & Olive restaurants only appears to be getting larger. There are a number of questions that need to be answered by Fig & Olive about just what happened to allow such a large outbreak to occur on both coasts. The first of which is: who supplied the implicated truffle oil and how many restaurants got the tainted product? This lawsuit will allow us to begin to answer questions about how this happened and what can be done to prevent something like this from happening again.”
The restaurant located in Washington D.C. closed for six days after being notified of the outbreak. Management said the restaurant was cleaned, they disposed of food, and educated employees about food safety. When they reopened, truffle fries and mushroom croquettes were removed from the menu. The chefs make the truffle oil on the premises. No other clues have been mentioned. News reports have stated that others who were sickened also ate foods made with truffle oil.
The restaurant in Los Angeles was closed for a few days. It was cleaned, and some symptomatic food handlers were interviewed and asked to submit stool samples for lab analysis.
The symptoms of a Salmonella infection include fever, chills, muscle aches, headache, nausea, abdominal cramps, vomiting, and diarrhea that can be bloody. Most people get sick six hours to three days after they ingest this bacteria. And most people recover without medical treatment in about a week. But some people, like our client, can become so ill they must be hospitalized.
The Fig & Olive restaurant chain also has locations in New York City; Scarsdale, New York; Newport Beach, California; and Chicago, Illinois. Health officials in those states told Food Poisoning Bulletin there have been no reports of illness in those states associated with the restaurant, but news reports have indicated there may be people sickened.
Since the long term consequences of a Salmonella infection can be serious, including reactive arthritis and irritable bowel syndrome, if you have been sick with these symptoms, see your doctor. Lab tests can confirm if you do have Salmonella food poisoning, and if you are part of this outbreak. There are also Salmonella outbreaks linked to cucumbers, tomatoes, and frozen, breaded, stuffed chicken going on right now in this country.