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SNHD: Secret of Siam may reopen under ‘several conditions’ following tampered food investigation

Published: Mar. 22, 2022 at 12:50 PM PDT|Updated: Mar. 23, 2022 at 3:40 PM PDT
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UPDATE: Secret of Siam will be allowed to reopen under “several conditions,” the Southern Nevada Health District announced on Wednesday.

Investigators with SNHD say a review of the restaurant is still being done after multiple patrons reported they were served adulterated food, but the business has been permitted to reopen its door after police found no “criminal intent.”

The conditions include: discarding food product, more health and safety inspections and a “follow-up” with SNHD’s Food Operations program.

A spokesperson for SNHD said the decision comes following the completion of the criminal investigation and a review by the appropriate business licensing agency.

“The Health District will provide an update when it is able,” the district said.

Joe Lemerse, a regular at the restaurant, was happy to hear that the restaurant could reopen.

“They’re nothing but hospitable and the food’s amazing,” Lemerse said. “This is a great local spot and they don’t deserve to be shut down.”

However, some of the customers that became ill following their visit to the restaurant still plan to follow through with lawsuits. Gera Wade was hospitalized multiple times following his meal at the Thai restaurant.

“I’m trying to stick it to that restaurant. I don’t care if they knew the THC was in it or not. The fact of the matter is you got 40 people sick,” Wade said.

The restaurant has not publicly said if or when it will reopen. There is a padlock on the door, as of Wednesday night.

Las Vegas police: ‘No criminal intent’ by Secret of Siam in tainted food investigation

LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - Las Vegas Metropolitan Police said they have not found any criminal intent by Centennial Hills restaurant Secret of Siam after the business was accused of serving food that had been tampered with.

Last month, several dozen people made reports that they became severely sick after eating there.

LVMPD said Tuesday that the investigation into Secret of Siam has concluded.

“The detectives determined there was no criminal intent, and at this time, the criminal investigation by the LVMPD is considered closed,” LVMPD said via email. “The investigation by other community partners continues, since it seems the contamination came from tainted ingredients purchased through a third party.”

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration told FOX5 Tuesday, “In general, matters such as these would be handled by the local health department, in conjunction with the local police authorities.”

So FOX5 reached out to the Southern Nevada Health District, and they told us they are continuing their search for answers.

“While the criminal investigation has concluded, the Southern Nevada Health District’s investigation and review of information is ongoing,” said Stephanie Bethel with the Office of Communications. “We will provide an update when we are able.”

Sadly, one of the patrons that we had previously interviewed was pregnant with twins at the time of getting severely ill after eating at the restaurant. After that incident, she miscarried one of her twins. It’s unknown whether the miscarriage has any relation to the incident.

“My husband and I are very saddened by the loss of one of our babies,” said Jennifer Colacion. “We had done months of fertility treatments. We will never know if this is what caused the miscarriage of one of our twins, but I can guarantee it wasn’t helpful to the health of my babies. Secret of Siam maybe wasn’t deemed criminally liable, but there were a lot of things that were done wrong, and a lot of balls dropped.”

FOX5 spoke with another woman Tuesday who reported that she was sickened and hospitalized after eating at the northwest valley eatery.

She told us she is not surprised by the police’s report that there was no criminal intent by the business itself.

“There’s nothing to gain from doing that to people, and because this is a family owned business, it didn’t seem plausible to me that it was done on purpose,” said Hilary VanDenKooy. “All I want is -- I just want to know what happened.”

VanDenKooy said she had recently learned more from local investigators.

“The leftovers that they had tested came back. They said it tested positive for THC oil, and because of how concentrated it was, he said it was in the thousands of dollars worth of THC,” said VanDenKooy.

She said she had passed out in the emergency room after feeling like she had gone numb.

“Because the THC had slowed my breathing down so much, it took almost thirty seconds for smelling salts to revive me, because I was barely breathing. It was really, really scary,” said VanDenKooy.

This investigation started nearly two months ago, with the first customer reports coming in at the end of January. In that time frame, the restaurant’s health inspection came back with an “A” grade.

Metro first announced their investigation on Valentine’s Day. After that, crime scene investigators collected boxes out of the restaurant, and the “temporarily closed” sign was removed.

The health district announced they received reports from more than 30 people that they got sick after eating there, and opened a public survey for any more complaints.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.