Health department says Bonicki’s outbreak could have resulted from improper food storage

The Michigan Department of Community Health reports that an outbreak of foodborne illness at Bonicki’s Sports Bistro, could have resulted from improper food storage.

In a news release Friday morning, April 11, the health department officials said the investigation at Bonicki’s at 1891 East Apple Ave. turned up the presence of Clostridium perfringens, a common bacteria that can cause foodborne illness.

395394_237923292949867_1801694089_nThe bacteria is found throughout nature but “typically causes illness when foods are served after improper storage or held at inadequate storage temperatures,” according to the health department.

Bonicki’s General Manager Karen Mead responded to the news with a prepared statement.

“We, the Bonicki’s family, apologize for the recent event,” she said. “We would like to thank the community, our loyal customers and the Muskegon County health department.”

On Friday, Ken Kraus, health officer at Public Health-Muskegon County, called the incident a teachable moment for others in the food service industry.

“We are relieved to know the cause and are working with the restaurant to improve their food storage practices,” he said in a news release. “While it may take a bit more effort, following proper food cooling and storage procedures is an important part in preventing foodborne illness.”

Potential outbreak at Muskegon sports bar

Muskegon, MI birthplace of the Detroit Red Wings’ Justin Abdelkader and punk rocker Iggy Pop is also home to what looks like a foodborne illness outbreak. According to Mlive, patrons of Bonicki’s Bistro reported illnesses to owner Norm Spyke as well as the local health authorities.395394_237923292949867_1801694089_n

Officials at Public Health – Muskegon County are asking recent patrons of a Muskegon Township sports bar to fill out a survey to gather data for a foodborne illness investigation.

Jill Montgomery Keast, the health education supervisor at Public Health – Muskegon County, said the agency is in the early stages of determining the type and cause of an outbreak that occurred at Bonicki’s Sports Bistro, 1891 East Apple Ave.
Keast said the department received at least six calls from local customers who fell ill between April 3 and April 6. 
“We were in full compliance as far as I know. They are looking into the matter,” Spyke said.

Bonicki’s achieved compliance with the Michigan Food Law on Jan. 8, according to the latest inspection data available online at The records show that sanitarians cited the restaurant for priority violations related to ice and food storage that were eventually corrected.

On the Bonicki’s Sports Bistro Facebook page is a message from the ownership:

Contrary to some news organizations poor reporting skills
The Muskegon County Health Department has been here and has checked us on everything, they found nothing wrong with how we store, prepare, cook, or serve our food.
During this time please remember the people that work here, for many of them this is their only job, bad press effects everybody. 
#shoplocal #lovemuskegon

Getting sick from food sucks too.