Chefs say it's safe to eat Bullock's BBQ

Bullock's BBQ (Flickr creative commons)

May 6, 2010 9:11:05 AM PDT
News that some got sick last month after eating at Bullock's BBQ has been devastating for the Durham landmark. The restaurant has seen an 80 percent drop off in customers and its catering business has almost completely dried up.

About 15 people got sick during a period when Bullock's served at least 5,000 customers. Preliminary testing by the health department suggested salmonella, but state tests are not back yet.

Owner Tommy Bullock said he's cooperated fully with health investigators and there have been no new reported illnesses. But that apparently hasn't convinced the public to return.

Usually, there's a line around the building when the popular eatery opens. Lately, getting a table has been no problem.

Durham business leaders point out that in 58 years of business, Bullock's has never gotten a health inspection rating of less than an "A", and they're stepping in to help.

Shelly Green, President & CEO of the Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau, said a group of the city's professional chefs will show their solidarity Friday. They're going to show up for lunch in their dress whites to show the public that it's safe to eat.

Green is also asking local business leaders and the public to come out to the restaurant at 3330 Quebec Drive.

Bring cash. Bullock's doesn't take plastic.

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