Firefly reopens after salmonella outbreak - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Firefly reopens after salmonella outbreak

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Chefs and staff have been retrained on food safety procedures, according to a consultant. Chefs and staff have been retrained on food safety procedures, according to a consultant.
Diners returned to the restaurant Friday. Diners returned to the restaurant Friday.

For the first time in nearly a month, the kitchen at Firefly on Paradise is cooking up dishes for customers.

"I think we all feel a little apprehension and nervousness because we want to do our absolute best," said Firefly co-owner Tabitha Simmons, who adds that what happened in late April still haunts her.

The latest numbers from the Southern Nevada Health District show that 294 customers got sick after eating at the Firefly restaurant and bar, which is one of three in the valley.

Salmonella was found to be the cause of the illnesses, and it was discovered in chorizo, a type of sausage.

"This has honestly been one of the most difficult things I've ever gone through," Simmons said. "This is our family business, and we are devastated that people got sick here, and we don't want to leave this community."

The restaurant opened in a new location Friday, just down the street. It was under construction during the outbreak, and now with the new kitchen comes new safety procedures and a consultant.

"This is probably the safest place to eat in Nevada today," said Timothy Moulson, president of TERM Management Consulting International, which advises restaurants on food safety.

Moulson declined to say how many restaurants have sought his services, citing confidentiality concerns.

Moulson said he was impressed with how the staff at Firefly handled the training, which will be expanded to the other two locations.

"In any restaurant, somebody in the kitchen could go to the bathroom and not wash their hands and get a bunch of people sick. What we've done is we've rewritten the standard operating procedures," he said.

The restaurant is currently embroiled in several lawsuits from sickened customers.

The owners say they want to make things right, and some loyal customers wasted no time returning.

"I think it was an unfortunate incident that could've happened to anyone, so I wasn't scared to come back," said Andrea Kirsch.

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