The Vermont Department of Health (VDH) is investigating an outbreak of E. coli that has sickened six so far – there are five confirmed cases and one presumed case. The VDH has not announced the source, but at least two local reports indicate that source is the Worthy Burger in South Royalton, Vermont, a restaurant which voluntarily closed for several days. Jason Merrill, who is the executive chef at Worthy Burger, admitted that the VDH asked the restaurant last week to switch some of their food vendors – a request ostensibly intended to avoid the further spread of contaminated food. Mr. Merrill, who often uses locally produced food sources stated “they haven’t told me which ones they wanted me to change, so I changed pretty much all of my vendors.”
The company’s Facebook page, however, seems to suggest a different reason for closing the restaurant for a few days. On September 17th, the Worthy Burger posted this on its Facebook page: “Hello Worthy Fans – Due to some unforeseen Mechanical issues we have to CLOSE the burger until we can get it repaired. We are doing what we can to expedite the repair…. Thank you for understanding!!”
At present, the restaurant is open again, apparently with different food vendors. It remains unclear the extent to which the Worthy Burger is in fact the source of the E. coli or if it is simply a link in the chain of distribution of a contaminated product. Ironically, however, on February 15, 2015, in its latest restaurant inspection, the Worthy Burger was docked four points for its failure to prevent cross contamination.
For more information about the Worthy Burger E. Coli Outbreak, or to speak to an E. coli Lawyer, call the E. coli Claim Center at 1-888-335-4901.