Firefly Restaurant Closed Over Salmonella Outbreak, Health Lapses

Firefly_Restaurant_SalmonellaFirefly restaurant in Las Vegas, Nevada has been associated with Salmonella contamination, a Salmonella outbreak, and prior health lapses.

In fact, the Southern Nevada Health District identified Firefly restaurant as the source of last month’s Salmonella outbreak that has, to date, sickened nearly 90 people. Two of those sickened have filed a lawsuit against Firefly. In that case, said the Las Vegas NV Blog, a husband and wife became so ill that the husband required treatment at a hospital emergency room where his illness was confirmed as Salmonella.

The health department issued 44 demerits for Firefly, said the Las Vegas NV Blog. Dragonfly, a sister restaurant to Firefly, was issued 47 demerits. The demerits were issued during environmental inspections last week that were prompted by the growing outbreak. Of Firefly’s 44 demerits, some were for food being stored at improper temperatures and employees handling food without wearing gloves, said The Associated Press (AP).

The AP reported that the Southern Nevada Health District said that of the 86 people who reported becoming ill after eating at Firefly, at least 12 of have required hospitalization, according to authorities.

The restaurant remains closed while health officials investigate the source of the contamination and outbreak, said the AP. Salmonella can be transmitted via contaminated food and through poor hygiene, the AP noted.

By late 2012, the United States had seen food borne illness outbreaks linked to the Salmonella, E. coli, and Listeria pathogen, with about 48 million people—one in six Americans—suffering from a food borne illness annually, according to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

About 3,000 deaths are attributed to food borne illnesses each year and 400 are attributed to acute salmonellosis, the infection caused by the Salmonella pathogen. Both drug resistant and nonresistant Salmonella poisoning results in some one million illnesses annually, costing the U.S. $365 million, according to a prior CDC report.

It can take between six and 72 hours from consumption of a contaminated product for the symptoms of salmonellosis to appear. Symptoms include diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever. Additional symptoms include chills, headache, nausea, and vomiting that can last up to seven days. The illness usually lasts four to seven days; however, in some, the organism can invade the bloodstream, becoming so severe that hospitalization is required.

Sometimes, infection with the Salmonella pathogen can result in and produce more severe or chronic illnesses and can leave sufferers with serious life-long health issues. Salmonellosis can be especially life threatening to those with weakened immune systems, such as infants; the elderly; and persons with compromised immune systems, such as people with HIV infection or who are undergoing chemotherapy.

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