Dave’s Sushi Food Poisoning Outbreak, Mushrooms Suspected [Updated]

Updated July 19, 2023 to reflect the outbreak has ended. After being linked to a deadly food poisoning outbreak, Dave’s Sushi in Bozeman, MT reopened on May 27th, claiming it had completed corrective actions ordered by the county health department. The 20-year-old restaurant, located on Bozeman Ave., was closed for weeks while health officials investigated a food poisoning outbreak that included 51 customers who dined at the restaurant in March and April. Three of them were hospitalized, two people died.

Meals containing morel mushrooms were the suspected source, county health officials confirmed. The mushrooms were reportedly imported from China. A specific pathogen or toxin was not identified.

Dave’s Sushi served the mushrooms raw or lightly cooked, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Other restaurants that received mushrooms from the same importer cooked them thoroughly and had no reports of illness.

The people sickened in this outbreak told health officials that they became sick within 30 minutes to 4.5 hours after eating a meal at Dave’s Sushi. Two people who dined at the restaurant are believed to have died from food poisoning although the cause of their deaths is pending until autopsy and toxicology results are available. William Lewis 74, of Townsend ate at Dave’s Sushi on April 17 and died the following day. Donna Ventura, 64 of Bozeman died after being hospitalized at Bozeman Deaconess Regional Medical Center.

Do You Need a Food Poisoning Lawyer?

Inspection Shows Food Safety Violations

During an April 18 inspection, Gallatin City-County Health Department, Environmental Health Services officials found eight food safety violations, four of them posing serious risk factors that required intervention.

  • Cold time/temperature control for safety food not adequately temperature controlled.
  • Shellstock tags not maintained for 90 days.
  • Improper 4-hour time control procedures.
  • Utensils and food-contact surfaces of equipment not safe.

Temperature control is key to food safety. Bacteria grow most rapidly in the “danger zone,” the temperature range between 40° F and 140° F, and can double in as little as 20 minutes. On the report, the regulation states that, “Time/temperature control for safety food shall be cold held at 5°C (41°F) or less. Eggs shall be stored at a temperature of 7°C (45°F) or less.”

But at the time of inspection:

  • The temperature in the cooler prep station was ranging between 45˚- 47˚F
  • The spicy salmon had an internal temperature of 46˚ F
  • The salmon Ikura measured 45˚F
  • The wasabi measure 47˚F

Sushi is a Common Source of Food Poisoning

Sushi is a common source of food poisoning. Outbreaks are often linked to fish or seafood contaminated with Salmonella.

2022 Salmonella Outbreak Linked to Restaurant Sushi, Sashimi, Poke

Last year, a Salmonella outbreak linked to salmon sushi, sashimi, and poke served at restaurants in California and Arizona sickened 39 people, 15 of them were hospitalized. Genetic tests showed that restaurant customers ate sushi, sashimi, and poke containing raw salmon before they got sick.

Mariscos Bahia, Inc, which processes seafood at facilities in Phoenix and Pico Rivera, CA, and distributes products directly to restaurants was the source of the contaminated fish, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

2021 Seafood, Sushi Sold in Colorado Linked to Multistate Salmonella Outbreak

 In 2021, a Salmonella outbreak linked to seafood and sushi sold at restaurants and at Albertsons, Safeway, and Sprouts stores in Colorado sickened 115 people. Most of the people sickened were either Colorado residents or traveled to Colorado during the week they got sick. Twenty people were hospitalized.

2020 Outbreak Linked to AFC Sushi Sold at Harris Teeter Stores in NC

In 2020, a food poisoning outbreak linked to AFC Sushi sold at two Harris Teeter locations in North Carolina sickened more than 10 people. The local health department did not provide information on the specific ingredient responsible for the illnesses.

2019 Salmonella Outbreak Linked to Frozen Tuna Used in Restaurant Sushi

In 2019, Salmonella outbreak linked to frozen tuna used in restaurant sushi sickened 13 people in seven states. Two people were hospitalized.

2016 Genki Sushi Restaurants a Possible Source of Hepatitis A Outbreak

In 2016, Genki Sushi restaurants were linked to a hepatitis A outbreak in Hawaii that sickened over 160 people. The health department determined that frozen scallops served at the restaurant were the source of the outbreak.

2015 Frozen Raw Tuna Sushi Salmonella Outbreak

A 2015 Salmonella outbreak linked to frozen raw tuna ended after sickening 65 people in 11 states. Eleven people were hospitalized. Osamu Corporation announced two voluntary recalls of frozen yellowfish tuna from one processing plant in Indonesia as a result of this outbreak. 

2012 Frozen Tuna Scrape Sushi Salmonella Outbreak

A 2012 Salmonella outbreak linked to raw tuna used in spicy tuna sushi, sashimi, and similar products sickened 116 people in 20 states and Washington DC. The outbreak prompted a tuna recall by the processor, Moon Marine USA Corporation, a California firm.

Can I Sue a Restaurant for Food Poisoning?

About 60 percent of food poisoning outbreaks in the U.S. are associated with restaurant food, making restaurants the most common setting of food poisoning outbreaks, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Pritzker Hageman food safety attorneys have successfully represented clients nationwide who were sickened by restaurant food.

You can sue a restaurant for food poisoning if you can prove that the food you ate made you sick. Generally, this requires a food poisoning diagnosis, a restaurant receipt, and the ability to show quantifiable harm. Our experienced food safety lawyers can help you determine if you have a case.

If you or a family member have been sickened by food you ate at Dave’s Sushi and you would like a free consultation with one of our experienced food poisoning lawyers please contact us today. You can reach us by calling 1-888-377-8900, sending a text to 612-261-0856, or completing the form below. There is no obligation and you never owe anything at all unless we win.

UPDATED This post was originally published on April 26 and updated May 2.

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