Patrons of Dave’s Sushi, who ate at the establishment between March 31 and April 17th, may have been exposed to a deadly pathogen – as yet unidentified – but possibly in the Morel Mushrooms it served. The restaurant has released a statement:
“Upon being contacted by guests on Mon, April 17 about a potential issue, we stopped serving the morel mushrooms which were a specialty food item not on our regular menu and contacted the Gallatin City-County Health Department.”
While not certain, the mushrooms were served only at Dave’s in Montana – the Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) stated: “The DPHHS investigation has determined that the morel mushrooms served at the restaurant were not distributed to any other restaurants or businesses in Montana. The mushrooms were cultivated in China, shipped to a distributor in California, and subsequently sent to multiple states. There are no known associated illnesses in other states identified at this time.”
As of date, two patrons have passed away due to the exposure, and as many as 30 have become ill – some have required hospitalization. The victims all seem to have become ill within a half hour (30 minutes) to four and one half hours (270 minutes) after consumption of the sushi served with the specialty item Morel Mushrooms.
“This type of outbreak is rare,” says national food poisoning lawyer Ron Simon, adding “we usually know what pathogen we are talking about by this time. In this case, the testing is ongoing, with the results of the toxicology and autopsy still pending. Ironically, this comes on the heels of another mystery outbreak, this time linked to Peruvian Tara Flour. The litigation in that outbreak is still ongoing.” Simon added “we hope to be able to find answers for the victims, and especially to help the families of those who have died to find closure.”
Dave’s has assured the public: “We have been fully cooperating with the Gallatin City-County Health Department. Health and safety has always been a top priority for us. To continue that commitment, we’ve hired a sanitarian consultant, formerly with the Gallatin City-County Health Department, to fully and thoroughly inspect our restaurant and conduct extensive food safety updates for our staff. We’re also ensuring that our staff are fully compensated until we reopen, including wages and estimated gratuities. We expect to reopen after Mon, May 15, once the health department has completed their study.”