Salmonella Hits Tennessee
NASHVILLE – February 19, 2019
A Nashville restaurant is facing multiple lawsuits after at least 20 customers reported becoming infected with salmonella.
The case isn’t new, though, as all four lawsuits (each seeking up to $1.5 million in damages from Milk and Honey) came following the August foodborne outbreak. The suits allege improper management and poor training led to the salmonella infections. Metro Public Health Department spokesman Brian Todd says diners got sick from the restaurant's short rib gnocchi because the dish used contaminated eggs from an Alabama farm.
The situation in Tennessee became so serious it even received attention at the federal level. An investigation from the U.S. Department of Agriculture found that the eggs came from Gravel Ridge Farms. Milk and Honey owner Taylor Monen called the outbreak an "unfortunate incident" and the restaurant has since cut ties with the Alabama farm following the outbreak. Monen declined to comment further.
"It was that particular source, those eggs that came from one farm in Alabama," Todd explained, though Gravel Ridge Farms had supplied many other restaurants with the eggs as well.
The lawsuits thus allege that there was more negligence on the part of Milk and Honey. Lawyers argue the dish was under-cooked by 10° and that staff members weren't properly trained to cook the gnocchi. Citing Health Department reports, lawyers say improper management and poor training led to the outbreak.
"The Health Department further found that the gnocchi served to Plaintiff and similarly situated persons were 'not being adequately cooked to destroy pathogens, [and] during reconstruction of events, portions of the raw gnocchi were cooked to 130°F, a cook-kill temperature well below the required 145°F,'" the lawsuit reads.
While the investigation is still underway, much is still hidden, leading to numerous conspiracy theories. It’s possible the state of Tennessee has an actual epidemic on its hand, though no one is admitting it.