Durban eatery confirms salmonella poisoned its patrons

The restaurant confirmed that samples tested positive for salmonella, which resulted in at least 20 of their patrons being hospitalised.
The restaurant confirmed that samples tested positive for salmonella, which resulted in at least 20 of their patrons being hospitalised.
Image: KAREN BLEIER / AFP

Two weeks ago at least 20 people were hospitalised with suspected salmonella poisoning after eating at the popular Old Town Italy restaurant in Umhlanga.

Salmonella is most often contracted by eating raw or undercooked meat‚ poultry and eggs and causes diarrhoea‚ fever‚ chills and abdominal pain.

The restaurant has since completely removed hollandaise sauce - a mixture of egg yolk‚melted butter and lemon juice - from its breakfast menu.

In a statement posted on its Facebook page on Friday the restaurant said test results from two independent laboratories had been submitted to them.

“We can confirm the samples taken from our restaurant for the period 03 November 2018 to 09 November 2018 have tested positive for salmonella.

“However‚ it is important to highlight that the positive salmonella test results were limited to the hollandaise sauce‚ rocket and egg mix only.”

The restaurant said additional food items‚ surface swabs and equipment swabs had tested negative.

“We carried out pathology tests on our staff members. We confirm that three of our staff members tested positive for traces of carrying salmonella.

"They were removed from service‚ will remain in our employ while we provide them with medical assistance‚ to ensure their full recovery.”

Old Town Italy has also appointed an independent tracing and recovery agency “to investigate the cold chain of preferred suppliers as an additional precaution‚ not only for us but for the industry.

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