The food poisoning outbreak at Golden Ponds restaurant in Greece, New York on Thanksgiving Day this year has sickened at least 260 people, according to the Democrat and Chronicle. The restaurant, located at 500 Long Pond Road, was closed on November 25, 2016 after reports of illness began coming into the Monroe County Health Department.
Lab tests on stool samples and food samples have not been completed. The New York State Department of Health laboratory in Albany is conducting the tests.
According to the paper, Monroe County Health Department spokesman John Ricci said that more than 80 people contacted officials about getting sick after eating at the restaurant. Those 80 people reported the illnesses of others who dined with them, bringing the total up. Ricci said, “the vast, vast majority, without prompting, report nearly identical symptoms.”
Those sickened reported experiencing violent diarrhea. The latest reports are that at least two people were hospitalized because of the seriousness of their illness.
Noted food safety attorney Ryan Osterholm said, “No one should get sick just because they ate at a restaurant for a holiday meal. These facilities have a responsibility to serve wholesome food to the public.”
The restaurant was inspected on November 1, 2016, and November 16, 2016. During the November 1 inspection, 18 noncritical violations were reported. The inspector noted that food contact surfaces were not washed, rinsed, and sanitized after each used and following any time of operations when contamianted may have occurred. Lighting and ventilation were inadequate. Fixtures were not shielded, and dirty ventilation hoods, ductwork, filters, and exhaust fans were observed. Non food contact surfaces of equipment were not clean. Floors, walls, ceilings were not smooth, properly constructed, or were in disrepair and dirty. And finally, insects and rodents were present.
During the inspection on November 16, 3 noncritical violations were observed. Non food contact surfaces of equipment were not clean, and floors, walls, ceilings were not smooth or properly constructed, and in disrepair or dirty.
There are several pathogens that can cause serious diarrhea, including E. coli, Salmonella, and Campylobacter. Norovirus can also cause this type of illness.
Officials went to the restaurant the day after Thanksgiving and collected samples of leftover food for testing. Staff was interviewed and the facility was inspected again. The results of that inspection have not been made public.