Tetiana Anderson of WLNS.com reports that a local restaurant is under investigation by the health department. More then 50 people got sick after eating at a Lansing area restaurant. The outbreak happened at Carraba’s Italian grill on West Saginaw. The health department says the situation seems to be under control now and that there is not a cause for concern, but one woman who got sick after eating there this past weekend tells me the last few days have been agony.
It’s the first day back on the job for Amy Paulis. On Saturday, she says she and 10 of her friends ate dinner at Carraba’s Italian Grill. By Sunday, more than half the group started getting sick.
Amy Palus, Carraba’s customer: “My symptoms were sever diarrhea and vomiting and fatigue, and eventually after that the body aches set in and that was by far the worst part.”
By Monday, phones at the Barry-Eaton District Health Department started ringing.
Eric Pessell, Barry-Eaton Health Department: “We had two or more unrelated people that contacted us, and that automatically meets the definition of an outbreak, or potential outbreak.”
Though health department officials say the restaurant is fully cooperating, the cause of the illness is still unknown, but a common stomach virus is the suspect.
Eric Pessell: “It could be an illness from an employee, it could be an illness from a patron. However, when I say person to person, it could be passed from person to person, it could also be passed from person to food to person.”
So health officials ordered Carraba’s to do some heavy cleaning and review sanitation practices.
Eric Pessell: “We requested or required that they discard all food that was prepared Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday.”
The health department is asking anyone who still has leftovers from that time to throw them out. Even so, Amy Paulis says she’ll never go back to Carraba’s and says she has second thoughts about eating out at all.
Amy Palus: “If you had what I had, I’m afraid to eat anywhere out right now, honest to goodness.”
Carrabba’s Italian Grill is owned by Outback Steakhouse Incorporated. In a statement to 6 News, they say they regret any illness that may have been caused. They are fully cooperating with the Barry-Eaton Health Department and they continue to review and reinforce their food safety procedures and practices.
The Barry-Eaton Health Department is asking that you call them if you ate at Carrabba’s on West Saginaw and are having gastrointestinal problems. That number is 517-541-2641.