Local News

Durham officials to show support for restaurant

Posted May 6, 2010 10:08 a.m. EDT
Updated May 7, 2010 12:19 p.m. EDT

— Local chefs and Durham leaders plan to meet for lunch Friday at Bullock's Barbecue in a show of support for the restaurant, which has seen business drop off after an outbreak of gastrointestinal illness last month, officials said.

The Durham County Health Department investigated food preparation and storage at Bullock's after 15 people were sickened there. Seven people were hospitalized for dehydration because of vomiting and diarrhea.

Health department Director Gayle Harris said Thursday that tests found Salmonella bacteria in foods containing egg. No violations were found in Bullock's food handling practices, facilities or employees, she said.

Bullock's is a Durham institution that serves walk-in customers and has a booming catering business. Vice President Joe Biden ate at the restaurant in March during a visit to the Triangle.

The restaurant's business is down about 80 percent since the outbreak, said Sam Poley, spokesman for the Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau. Officials and other restaurateurs want to show the public that eating at Bullock's is safe, he said.