5 On Your Side

Anchovies are answer to EVOO illnesses

Posted May 27, 2009 9:42 p.m. EDT
Updated June 2, 2009 3:42 p.m. EDT

— An anchovies recall by a national restaurant food-supply company was prompted by the events at a popular Five Points restaurant April 17.

Diners at EVOO, 2519 Fairview Road, experienced stomach cramps, vomiting and dizziness that evening. The source of the sickness was unclear, but incident reports showed all of the customers who became ill ate salads.

Dr. Lee-Ann Jaykus, a microbiologist at North Carolina State, said the people might have experienced histamine fish poisoning.

Five On Your Side helped the Wake County Health Department make the connection between a national recall of anchovies by Monarch Food Service and the symptoms reported at EVOO. The  anchovies contained a high level of histamines, which can cause fish poisoning.

Andre Pierce with the county health department said, "We believe it's related to the salad greens."

This finding is a source of relief for EVOO owner Robert Duffy. "The last 24 hours has been the biggest sigh of relief I think I've ever experienced in my ten years in the hospitality industry," he said.

Duffy feels he and his staff are now in the clear. "Hopefully, with this information, our customers will realize we didn't do anything or could have done anything to prevent it."

"I'm glad we finally have some answers to give them," he said. "And apologize that not only the restaurant but them as well (for) being victim of what turned into a national recall."