294 sick; new Firefly restaurant opens in Vegas after Salmonella outbreak

A new Firefly Tapas Kitchen & Bar opened over the weekend at 3824 Paradise Road, a few doors down from the old Firefly, home to a salmonella firefly.salm.puppet.videooutbreak last month that sickened 294 people from 27 states and two foreign countries.

Tabitha Simmons, John Simmons’ wife and business partner, told the Las Vegas Sun, “I think we were a little apprehensive about opening. We really want to put our best foot forward, and we want to gain people’s trust back. We’re not taking this lightly.”

John Simmons recently said he had no plans to reopen the original Firefly location on Paradise because he would be moving ahead with plans that were already in place to open the new restaurant by the end of the month. He signed a lease for the new space in August.

He said inspectors from the Southern Nevada Health District approved the restaurant to open May 21. Inspectors were not immediately available for comment Friday.

Cooked chorizo collected from the previous Firefly restaurant on Paradise Road tested positive for salmonella, according to Linh Nguyen, an epidemiologist with the Health District.

Though the chorizo arrived at the restaurant raw, it was subsequently cooked by Firefly’s restaurant staff. Nguyen said the genetic fingerprint of firefly1-300x300the salmonella found in the chorizo has not been found anywhere else in the country, suggesting it was contaminated at the restaurant.

Simmons said chorizo will remain on the menu at the new restaurant.

“We still offer it,” Tabitha Simmons said. “All of the additional precautions we’ve put in place allows us to offer it.”