CREATED May. 22, 2013
Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- Officials with the Southern Nevada Health District have finally pinned down the source that's quite possibly responsible for sickening hundreds of people who dined at Firefly Restaurant on Paradise in late April.
A newly issued report shows cooked chorizo samples tested positive for salmonella.
However, just because the chorizo carried the bacteria, it may not be entirely to blame.
The Office of Epidemiology with the Southern Nevada Health District tells Action News that although salmonella was found in the chorizo, it doesn't mean customers had to eat the chorizo to get sick.
Epidemiologist Nancy Williams says, "We're sure it was not just the chorizo [that was contaminated]. People ate lots of different things there and became ill."
The Southern Nevada Health District claims that the real problem is likely a serious case of cross contamination.
"It was a very small kitchen doing a huge volume of business. A lot of things happen on the same cutting board at the same work station with the same people handling all these different things so if there is salmonella there, I think you just can just watch people's hands moving and food passing through there and you would see a million opportunities for this to have [gotten spread around]," she adds.
According to the Southern Nevada Health District , as of May 20th, at least 290 customers and 4 employees probably suffered from salmonella infections.
Restaurant owner John Simmons released a statement on Wednesday which reads, in part:
"While we are anxious to have a final report and a better idea of what may have happened, for me, it was never about the source- it was about making sure I did everything in my power to prevent this from happening again."
The restaurant has been shut down as employees and management continue working with a food safety consultant so they can open up their new location just down the road.