EVOO outbreak not confirmed, looks like scombroid

WRAL in Raleigh reports that the cause of an outbreak of a foodborne illness in 10 patrons of EVOO may never be found. 

Andre Pierce, Wake County’s director of the environmental health and safety division says regardless of the outcome [of the test results], he’s confident the problem was created at the restaurant.

“If you had some source issue with a product, you would expect to have calls around the state,” Pierce said. “We didn’t have anything like that …So we believe there’s something that was going on possibly at that facility that was the problem. Pierce suspects a toxin or chemical caused the sickness, perhaps through cross contamination.

Incident reports from Wake County show all of the customers who became ill ate salads. A sample of tuna was sent for testing.

“This appears to be a classic case of histamine fish poisoning,” said North Carolina State University microbiologist Dr. Lee-Ann Jaykus, who 5 on Your Side asked to review the reports. "Scombrotoxin fish poisoning is probably the leading cause of seafood associated food-borne illness,” Jaykus said.

Scombrotoxin fish poisioning is caused by histamine and is often caused by temperature abuse of fish. Illnessess are similar to allergic reactions and can strike patrons quickly. Gotta keep that fish cold to reduce the risk.

Raleigh foodborne illnesses possibly tied to restaurant

Independent Weekly is reporting that at least eight cases of foodborne illness are being investigated and that they may be linked to a common restaurant.

The illnesses, reported April 17, may be connected to Evoo, a Mediterranean restaurant in Raleigh’s Five Points.

"We are currently investigating some reports of sickness," said André Pierce, director of the environmental health and safety division of the county’s environmental services department. "The investigation is ongoing and we don’t have any results yet."

The story goes on to say that according to Walt Fuller, deputy director in charge of operations at the Raleigh-Wake 911 Center,  shortly before 10 p.m the Center received an emergency call reporting that someone was ill at Evoo at 2519 Fairview Road.

One paramedic unit was dispatched at 9:50 p.m. and called for backup upon arriving at the scene, Fuller said. A second paramedic unit, a quick responder vehicle and a fire engine all responded. In all, nine rescuers attended victims at the restaurant.