August 23, 2019

Alleged Outbreak at Pita Hot in Fullerton, CA Closes Restaurant

Pita Hot, a restaurant in Fullerton, California, has been closed twice by the Orange County Health Agency in the last few weeks because of a suspected food poisoning outbreak.  All information about this outbreak has been contained in restaurant inspection reports. The inspection report specifically names norovirus, but there is no information about whether or not any ill persons have tested positive for that pathogen. The site I Was Poisoned received many reports of illness by people visiting the restaurant.

Alleged Outbreak at Pita Hot in Fullerton, CA Closes Restaurant

The restaurant was closed on June 19, 2019 by health inspectors. They were sent to the facility because of alleged foodborne illness complaints. The reason for the closure was: On-Going Foodborne Illness.

One of the action items named in that report is: “Complete the required cleaning and disinfection protocol as outlined in Attachment D – Recommendations for the Control of Suspected Viral Gastroenteritis (in particular, Norovirus).” The restaurant had to discard all open or unsealed ready to eat foods, and single use articles such as napkins and straw “that have been handled by ill employees.” An employee contact list also had to be provided. In addition, the restaurant had to “remove all employees with symptoms of vomiting and/or diarrhea for at least 72 hours after resolution of symptoms.”

During that inspection, the person in charge said there were two ill food workers/employees at the restaurant on June 15 and June 16, 2019. One ill employee was directed to leave the restaurant during the inspection.

Other minor infractions noted during the inspection included a leaking drain pipe at the front hand wash sink, a cot with a mattress in the office, and food residue on food contact surfaces on a food bin.

On June 20, 2019, the restaurant was inspected again. The conditions that caused the permit suspension were corrected, according to the report, and employees were screened at the start of each shift. The restaurant was allowed to reopen.

But on June 25, 2019, the restaurant was closed again during a follow up visit about the foodborne illness complaint. The reason given for closure was ongoing foodborne illness; an ill employee who had symptoms of acute gastrointestinal illness reportedly worked on June 22, 2019. No employee can work in a food facility when they are ill with a potentially infectious disease in California.

Pita Hot had to, again, clean for the control of norovirus. In addition, the responsible party of the food facility had to attend an enforcement hearing, and employees had to attend a Food Worker Education Class provided by the Agency. No more information has been provided about the outbreak since the last inspection report.

 

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