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California Restaurant Briefly Shut Down After Being Linked to Shigella Outbreak

Zov’s Restaurant in Irvine, CA, closed down briefly on Wednesday after a foodborne illness investigation was linked to four customers, health department officials reportedly said Thursday.

Deanne Thompson of the Orange County Health Care Agency said that those sickened had eaten at Zov’s on three different dates between Sept. 16-22, and that all four had tested positive for Shigella, an intestinal disease that triggers severe diarrhea.

The restaurant reopened later Wednesday after the premises were cleaned and sanitized and all ready-to-eat foods, including fresh produce, were thrown out.

Health officials told restaurant employees they could not return to work until they were medically cleared and given training on proper hand-washing, Thompson said. Staff from other Zov’s restaurants were used to reopen the location in Irvine.

“We are reviewing all policies and procedures to ensure that such an incident will not be repeated. In 27 years of operating restaurants, this is the first such case we’ve experienced,” said Armen Karamardian, Zov’s vice president of operations.

Orange County has seen three Shigella-related outbreaks linked to restaurants so far this year.

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