Boise Co-Op Reopens After Salmonella Outbreak
BOISE (KTVB) - On Thursday, for the first time since a salmonella outbreak sickened as many as 200 people, a spokesperson for the Boise Co-op spoke publicly.
The folks at the Co-op expressed real concern about the situation and said they are pulling out all the stops to make sure their kitchen is safe.
Spokesperson Mo Valko said the Co-op is working very closely with the Central District Health Department to get their deli back in order. The deli reopened Friday.
CDHD says an on-site inspection Friday allowed health inspectors to see the changes laid out by the Co-op in a meeting with health officials earlier this week.
The business' website says they are working to fill their cases so it may take a few days to get back to full production.
Valko said what they have been doing this entire week is making personal contact with Co-op members to answer any questions customers might have.
"It's been so hard to communicate with people and let them know that this was a result of something in our store," she said. "So we just want them to know that they can contact us. We want them to understand that we are continuing to work really closely with Central District Health to find the cause of this and make sure that this never happens again."
Those with Central District Health say that reports of illness started pouring in last week and the commonality in the reports was folks eating foods sold at the Co-op deli.
Not only has the Co-op been making calls directed at members, but Valko said they also sent out thousands of flyers and emails to customers.
When it comes to the actual kitchen, she explains there is a lot of work happening too.
"We see this as an opportunity to put as many safe practices in place as possible. We have made a couple of changes to the arrangements of the equipment in the back. We have added an additional hand-washing sink just to help with workflow and we will have color-coded cutting boards as well," said Valko.
Central District Health inspectors will meet with the Co-op again Friday to make sure that the safety practices are in order. At that point they may be given the "go ahead" to open the deli.
When asked about a possible lawsuit filed against the Co-op from a member of the public sickened by salmonella, Valko said they have not been served legal papers.
She declined to comment any further on any possible litigation.
Earlier this week, Central District Health officials said the strain known as salmonella enteriditis was found in onion, tomato and raw turkey. They believe the spread of bacteria happened from cross contamination of foods.