Gastro outbreak at Australian Sizzler

There are a surprising number of Sizzler restaurants scattered around Australia. One in Booval, Queensland, west of Brisbane, is apparently the source of a suspected gastro outbreak.

Public health physician Dr Kari Jarvinen and Sizzler confirmed the Ipswich restaurant was being investigated after multiple reports of Sizzler Tagline Logogastro.

He said the venue was co-operating in the investigation and would be checked to assure the appropriate level of sanitation and cleaning had taken place.

Woodend mum Kellie Roussounis-Adams and her family became ill with a gastro illness after eating at the restaurant last Friday.

“The following day my entire family was sick, including my two children,” she said. “My husband, who works as a concreter, was forced to take a day off work.”

Mrs Roussounis-Adams became aware of the gastro outbreak through social media.

Sizzlers refunded the cost of the meal to Mrs Roussounis-Adams, which is helping Queensland Health identify the source.

A Sizzler spokeswoman said customers had raised their concerns after the Friday night.

The human face of E. coli O157:H7: 3-year-old died in 2000

Three-year-old Brianna Kriefall and her family ate at a Sizzler restaurant in South Milwaukee in July 2000. Brianna died a week later after battling E. coli-related hemolytic uremic syndrome.

Brianna, along with most of the other 140 people who were sickened in the outbreak, consumed watermelon that had been cross-contaminated with raw meat.

Genetic testing showed the microbes that made the restaurant patrons sick matched microbes contained in an unopened package of meat.

The national Sizzler chain, its local franchise and an insurance company are suing Excel Corp., the subsidiary of Cargill Inc. that produced the meat.

On Friday Brianna’s family reached a $13.5 million settlement with the company’s meat supplier and others.

The Kriefalls’ case had been dismissed in 2004 by a different Milwaukee County Circuit judge after Excel lawyers argued the company was exempt from state lawsuits because it had followed federal regulations in handling the beef sold to Sizzler.

An appeals court reversed the dismissal, saying the legal action fit within the federal goal of making food safer for consumers. The U.S. Supreme Court declined Excel’s appeal.