Add to list of things not to say ‘We’re safest place in town to eat’ after outbreak; 75 reports of illness from Ribeye’s Steakhouse in NC

The Nash County Health Department is investigating a possible foodborne illness outbreak in Nash County after 75 people reported becoming ill after eating at Ribeye’s Steakhouse in Nashville last week.

Two people were hospitalized after eating there and have been released, but it has not been confirmed whether their illnesses were associated with eating at the restaurant, said health department spokeswoman Amy Belflower Thomas.

The Rocky Mount Telegram reports she could not say what food dish at the restaurant, if any, might have caused the illnesses.

“Seventy-five people have called us and said they were sick or ate with someone who was sick, and gave me their names,” Thomas said. “It’s not like we’ve gone out and asked people to call us.”

Janice Manning, an owner of Ribeye’s Restaurant, said patrons can feel confident the food served is safe to eat.

“I just spoke to the health department recently,” she said. “I’ve not heard that anything was confirmed. They are working on it.”

She said the restaurant has been sanitized and all of the food that was there when the complaints were filed has been thrown out.

“We are probably the safest place in town (to eat),” Manning said.

She noted the restaurant has had consistently high grades from the health department on its sanitation report card.