39 sick from Salmonella in sushi in Ukraine

Toma Istomina of the KyivPost writes an outbreak of cases of Salmonella infections in Kyiv has revealed a rash of sanitary violations in the city’s restaurants.

Police have started criminal proceedings against Eurasia, a popular chain of sushi restaurants in Kyiv, after 39 people came down with Salmonella poisoning after eating in two of its restaurants. An investigation found that one of the cooks had spread the bacteria.

Further inspections by Ukraine’s food safety authorities uncovered numerous sanitary violations in at least 79 other restaurants in Kyiv.

However, legislation that was in effect until June 30 prevented the authorities from immediately issuing fines or shutting down the offenders – the law had stipulated that such measures could be taken only after a scheduled inspection, and not an unscheduled one.

The only restaurants to be temporarily closed as of July 5 were the two Eurasia sushi bars where customers were infected by the bacteria – on 2A Dmytrivska St. and 20 Stepan Bandera St.

The first cases of salmonellosis infection were reported on June 27, when 34 people sought treatment for the symptoms of Salmonella poisoning – diarrhea, fever, abdominal cramps, and vomiting. All had eaten in the two Eurasia restaurants, and five more people reported infection within the following week.

Most of the infected customers were hospitalized. The State Service of Ukraine on Food Safety and Consumer Protection launched an inspection of the entire Eurasia chain.