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300 Ill from Olive Garden Fare


MichBill
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This link references and article on CNN reporting that around 300 people have become ill of an yet-undiagnosed food born illness associated with an Olive Garden in Indianapolis.

Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and, in some cases, fever. Three people are hospitalized.

Olive Garden

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This link references and article on CNN reporting that around 300 people have become ill of an yet-undiagnosed food born illness associated with an Olive Garden in Indianapolis.

Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and, in some cases, fever.  Three people are hospitalized.

Olive Garden

As an Indianapolis resident,I have on one occasion eaten at the Olive Garden in question ,(please, don't think too badly of me ,I was taken as a guest ).While it is not the absolute worst food in the world,in the nearly 6 years I've lived here,that is the only time I've been. I do however know quite a few people who do frequent the place but fortunately none of them had been any time recently and had not succumbed.As anyone in food service knows, food sanitation is the first and foremost thing that can be done on a local level to safeguard the public. From proper cooking and holding temps ,to (and equally important)proper hand washing procedures, the public's safety should be the #1 priority.Unfortunately too many sick employees go to work and put the public at risk. :blink:

And this old porch is like a steaming greasy plate of enchiladas,With lots of cheese and onions and a guacamole salad ...This Old Porch...Lyle Lovett

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I hate to admit it, but the title of this thread made me laugh

until I realized how sick and awful these people must feel. There is nothing worse then getting sick from poorly prepared food.

I bet for laughing I will come down with that 24 hour bug that I seem to get once a year.

BEARS, BEETS, BATTLESTAR GALACTICA
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I'm not sure that would be a foodborne illness. On cruise ships, it's usually spread through the water or the ventilation system, isn't it?

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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I think it is important to point out that we hear about these outbreaks at national (or regional) chains much more than at local restaurants simply because national news outlets are likely to carry a story about a large chain that is nationally known. By contrast, there won't be much national interest in virus or food poisoning incident at a restaurant no one has ever heard of, and will likely never visit.

I think we should keep our holier-than-Olive Garden tendancies in check.

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Nah.. I am willing to say as a member of a food board that Olive Garden Sucks.. I am sorry, I dont think its snobby rather I think it keeps up the integrity of a website Devoted to Food.. But this issue has been done to death..

Edited by Daniel (log)
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Nah.. I am willing to say as a member of a food board that Olive Garden Sucks.. I am sorry, I dont think its snobby rather I think it keeps up the integrity of a website Devoted to Food.. But this issue has been done to death..

I wasn't trying to say Olive Garden is good food. I was simply pointing out that we more frequently hear about food bourne illnesses at national chains rather than local restaurants for a reason, and it isn't because this stuff only happens at national chains.

Sorry that I wasn't clear enough.

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I've eaten worse Italian food than OG in places that should have been a lot better.

amen to that.

Really, I can honestly say that my meal at Olive Garden was the worst Italian Meal I have ever had.. Although growing up in New York and Jersey and mainly eating at friends houses and local restaurants, I have not had too many bad Italian meals..

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Olive Garden reopened it's doors last night Tues. 12-19 after a thorough cleaning with a solution of chlorine bleach and water.supossedly every surface was cleaned with said solution.Local news reported this but didn't say if there were any takers.I'm kind of curious how many people were willing to risk a possible illness just to get that little OG fix :hmmm:

And this old porch is like a steaming greasy plate of enchiladas,With lots of cheese and onions and a guacamole salad ...This Old Porch...Lyle Lovett

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If you are eating at the Olive Garden foodborne illness is well deserved.

Comments like that really tick me off. No one deserves foodborne illness...I've been there, done that, and it royally sucks. Christmas Day in the hospital is really lame.

Secondly, I'm really getting peeved at the chain bashing and holier-than-thou attitudes around here. I'm so sorry I don't live to your impeccable standards. Also, I've paid a lot more money to eat at places where the food was supposed to be better than OG but sure wasn't. OG soup and salad makes a decent lunch, IMO.

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It was in fact confirmed to be Norovirus. And the point has already been made very well that it is NOT food borne. If you have any place with a large volume of people in a confined space (any busy restaurant - chain or otherwise - fits the bill). It can be spread by something as simple as a person who is a carrier touching a door knob.

It can and does happen in non-chain restaurants. Extensive surface cleaning and a few precautionary procedures following an incident can lessen the likelihood of recurrence. But the major cruise ship lines are, the the best of my knowledge, very stringent about kitchen cleanliness procedures (or so it appears). Yet it still happens. That's why the bathrooms in most cruise ships have cautionary signs advising frequent handwashing by all passengers - including plenty of soap and hot water.

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Really, I can honestly say that my meal at Olive Garden was the worst Italian Meal I have ever had.. Although growing up in New York and Jersey and mainly eating at friends houses and local restaurants, I have not had too many bad Italian meals..

NY and Jersey, the hub of Ital-American cuisine. Really though, the sanctimonious bashing of chains as a dining decision while cavalierly upholding the standards of a group that extolls guilty pleasures and favorite convenience foods for fun is hypocritical . For most people(who don't live in NY and Jersey,) a place like Olive Garden may be the only option for going out, and maybe thats all its about, just getting out. Sometimes, one might find themselves in a heavy life moment, and needing respite just going anywhere, and being served , is a comfort.

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As I understand, Norovirus is not necessarily food-borne, but it certainly can be. It is also very tough. The cruise lines have experienced outbreaks on successive voyages despite thorough disinfecting. The folks who operate and work at this OG have their work cut out for them and they have my sympathy. Needless say the victims also have my sympathy. It is incredible to me what powerful amplifiers of infectious disease restaurants and cafeterias can be.

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It was in fact confirmed to be Norovirus.  And the point has already been made very well that it is NOT food borne. 

Actually according to the CDC (MMWR April 14, 2006 / 55(14);395-397) The majority of cases of foodborne gastroenteritis in the United States are caused by noroviruses

And (from MMWR April 15, 2005 / 54(14);352-356) In 2004, FoodNet cases were part of 239 nationally reported foodborne disease outbreaks (defined as two or more illnesses from a common source); 138 (58%) of these outbreaks were associated with restaurants. An etiology was reported in 152 (64%) outbreaks. The most common etiologies were norovirus (57%) and Salmonella (18%).

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NY and Jersey, the hub of Ital-American cuisine. Really though, the sanctimonious bashing of chains as a dining decision while cavalierly upholding the standards of a group that extolls guilty pleasures and favorite convenience foods for fun  is hypocritical . For most people(who don't live in NY and Jersey,) a place like Olive Garden may be the only option for going out, and maybe thats all its about, just getting out. Sometimes, one might find themselves in a heavy life moment, and needing respite just going anywhere, and being served , is a comfort.

and then even some people who live in NY/NJ have had many a bad italian-american meal (i'm not a big fan of red sauce places), because most restaurants simply are not very good.

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