Fayetteville hotel questions health deparment report on salmonella outbreak

July 25, 2013 2:52:06 PM PDT
Management at the hotel that health officials say was the source of a salmonella outbreak says it disagrees with the state health department's report that blamed hotel employees.

Earlier this week, health officials said the All-American Sports Bar and Grill at the Holiday Inn Bordeaux in Fayetteville was to blame, and that employees contributed to the contamination.

Hotel officials actually say they're going to continue their own investigation because the state report doesn't pinpoint an exact source -- rather saying it was cross contamination between food sources and surfaces.

However, the hotel is taking issues with several other points in the report that was released just two days ago.

In part of their statement issued Thursday, the hotel general manager says the restaurant "was never notified or aware that any employee continued to work while ill...." and had they been, they would have excused them from work.

They also fire back at the report for pointing toward dishwasher temperature as a factor in the spread, saying "all 20 sample (the state) took from the dishwasher were negative."

» Click here to read the hotel's press release. (.pdf) «

The state says it warned hotel management to keep sick employees home for at least 24 hours, symptom-free, and had they done that, the salmonella outbreak wouldn't have lasted two weeks.

"The purpose of this and any public health investigation is not to lay blame, but to determine how to prevent something like this from happening again. The findings in the report are consistent with most foodborne illness investigations. We can't stress enough the importance of proper food handling and employees staying home if they are sick." said health director Buck Wilson.

There are several lawsuits filed for tens of thousands of dollars in damage due to the outbreak. One local attorney said some of her clients are still seeing doctors three months later. At least 100 cases of illness were reported.

Cumberland County Health officials said in May that as many as 1,000 people who ate the restaurant could have been exposed to the illness.

» Click here to read the full health department report «

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