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Health District: 200 sickened in Firefly salmonella outbreak

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Updated: 5/10/2013 7:07 pm

LAS VEGAS (KSNV – An interim report on the investigation into the shuttered Firefly on Paradise restaurant says 200 people have complained of illness while the source of the suspected salmonella outbreak is yet to be identified.

The popular restaurant near the Las Vegas Strip was closed on April 26 and will reopen at a different location, according to owner John Simmons.

The report says a raw pasteurized egg-based aioli sauce served at Firefly was first suspected to be the source of salmonella “because many ill patrons had reported eating it and the historical association between eggs and salmonella.”

However, epidemiologic analysis showed that the aioli was not associated with illness, the report states.

“No single menu item appeared to be the likely source for the outbreak,” the report states. “Additionally, no common factors or ingredients were identified among the statistically significant menu items. We also looked for associations between illness and several common ingredients such as parsley, aioli and grated cheese )parmesan and manchego). Of these, only the grated cheese showed a statistical association with illness. However, many of the statistically significant menu items contained none of that cheese.”

The report said Firefly will be permitted to re-open after several requirements are met including that the “person-in-charge who has completed a certified food safety manager training program and must be present and responsible at the facility at all times including evenings, weekends and breaks.”

The report noted that Firefly management has fully cooperated fully with the health district staff during the investigation.

The Southern Nevada Health District report released this morning was written by epidemiologist Dr. Linh Nguyen.

Simmons released this statement this morning:

“We appreciate the diligence and thoroughness of the Southern Nevada Health District throughout this process. We will continue working with them as we implement the recommendations outlined in today’s report – and we already have begun doing just that, including hiring a highly respected food safety and restaurant consultant with more than 25 years experience in the industry.

"At this time there is no plan to reopen our 3900 Paradise location, as we will be moving forward with our original plan to have our new location at 3824 Paradise opened by the end of the month.

"Firefly has been a proud member of Southern Nevada for 10 years and we are optimistic that the combination of moving to this new location, that has a kitchen as large as the entire original Firefly restaurant, and the recommended retraining on operations and procedures, will help us regain the confidence of the community.

"We are greatly appreciative of the tremendous support we have received.”

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