280 sick: Why didn’t you pay attention to food safety before selling food? Idaho Co-Op reconstructs to bounce back from Salmonella outbreak

Before the salmonella outbreak, the deli was bringing around 18 percent of the Co-Op’s business. Now, after one month of being re-opened, the deli is only selling 12 percent.

boise.co-op-300x169To be reopened in the first place, a lot had to be done.

“We added a few hand washing sinks in the deli. We had 11 of our staff serve safe certified, which is a national food safety certification that goes above and beyond the Idaho Health Department standards,” said Mo Valko, Boise Co-Op spokeswoman.

During the closure, the deli moved departments around and bought new colored cutting boards. Valko says this will help prevent cross contamination.

“In order to ensure the food they’re serving here at the Boise Co-Op is safe, employees go through a three page checklist anywhere from personal hygiene to food storage,” she said.

Returning customers believe the outbreak was a rare mistake.

“It was an unfortunate incident but my faith has not been shaken, I think it was a mistake that probably should have never happened and now that it has happened it probably never will ever, ever happen again,” said Jan Pierce, a Boise resident.

“In general, it’s such a decent place that it’s not really a huge concern. I think that sometimes people get a little over charged on things like that,” said Rita Shaw, another Boise resident.

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Again, why wasn’t this done before the outbreak?

preventionThe Boise Co-op’s deli has been linked to 200 cases of Salmonella.

Co-op Marketing Manager Mo Valko says the store has sanitized and revamped its food prep area, adding things like color-coded cutting boards to help deli employees stop any cross-contamination from occurring. They’ve also added another handwashing sink and more training with deli employees. She says they’ve done all they can to let customers know about the outbreak.

30 sick: Salmonella cases linked to Idaho co-op

Central District Health Department officials are investigating a number of confirmed salmonella cases that may be related.

boise.coopThere have been about 30 cases that have tested positive, CDHD said.

The health department says the Boise Co-Op is associated with the salmonella outbreak. They are currently working to find the source and going over proper procedure and protocol.