5 On Your Side

Health official: EVOO restaurant food scare is over

Posted April 23, 2009

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— A lot of viewers have called WRAL's 5 on Your Side with questions about EVOO, a popular restaurant in Raleigh's Five Points area.

At least eight people and a chef became suddenly ill at the restaurant at 2519 Fairview Road on the evening of April 17. They experienced stomach cramps, vomiting and dizziness.

Health officials reiterated Thursday that they are confident the problem was confined to EVOO and that it is now over. With peanut, spinach and tomato scares lately, there is no wonder why people want to know what made patrons sick at EVOO.

Bob and Jeanne Bonds had appetizers and entrees at EVOO Friday when suddenly, Bob says he got severe stomach cramps and started vomiting.

"We had been chatting, and he was starting to sweat heavily. He said he was very dizzy,” Jeanne Bonds said.

Emergency medical personnel transported at least six patients from the restaurant. Two other people were transported from a nearby home after eating at EVOO.

Wake County health officials are working to pinpoint the cause, but won't talk specifically about the case, other than to say they are confident it is no longer a public health concern.

"We are sure that a health risk has passed," said Andre Pierce, Wake County's director of the environmental health and safety division. "Anytime we have an outbreak and we do an investigation (and) we are sure, the restaurant is allowed to continue to operating. So it (EVOO) is operating under our authority."

Health officials said that the people in this case became sick unusually fast. In cases of food poisoning, symptoms usually show up four to six hours after eating. In this incident, the victims became ill almost immediately.

Robert Duffy, a co-owner of EVOO, said that he believes the source of the illness was brought in by a third-party vendor.

Duffy said that health inspectors sent samples of tuna from the restaurant to the federal Food and Drug Administration for testing. He said that the chef who became ill, though, didn't eat.

Duffy said that EVOO is cooperating fully to make sure that this "never occurs again."

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  • capitalland Apr 23, 2009

    There is a coverup working here. Who gets sick AT the restaurant when they are eating? Did all of the sick patrons eat the tuna. No! Had this happened in North Raleigh, it would have been on 'Breaking News'.