According to news reports, the Monroe County Health Department has asked Golden Ponds Restaurant in Greece, New York to close after an apparent food poisoning outbreak. At least 60 people got sick after eating Thanksgiving dinner at that restaurant.
Dozens of people experienced violent diarrhea after that meal. Two people were hospitalized because their illnesses were so severe. Officials think that many more people could be sick but don’t realize they may have food poisoning.
Public health officials sent an inspector to the restaurant the day after Thanksgiving, and food leftover from the Thanksgiving meal was collected for testing. Lab tests will not be back for a few days. The inspection on Friday revealed violations that could levy fines. The owner is cooperating with the investigation.
Diarrhea as a symptom of food poisoning could be caused by several different pathogenic bacteria or norovirus. Officials have not speculated on what the cause may be.
The last time the restaurant was inspected was on November 1, 2016. According to a restaurant inspection database by the Democrat & Chronicle, 18 violations were found during that inspection. The violations were all marked “non critical.”
Violations included food contact surfaces not washed,rinsed and sanitized after each use and following any time of operations when contamination may have occurred, and non food contact surfaces of equipment not clean. The lighting and ventilation was inadequate. In addition, insects and rodents were present in the restaurant.
And inspectors found that fixtures were not shielded, and there were dirty ventilation hoods, ductwork, filters, and exhaust fans. Finally, the floors, walls, and ceilings were not smooth, properly constructed, and were in disrepair and dirty.
If you at at Golden Ponds on Thanksgiving this year and think you are part of this outbreak, please contact the Monroe County Department of Health at (585) 753-5064. Information you may have could help solve this outbreak.