The general manager of the popular Twisted Fork restaurant in south Reno, NV, is calling it a “difficult episode,” but having learned that the source of an E. coli O157:H7 outbreak was a dessert made by an outside manufacturer, he announced plans to reopen next week. The Twisted Fork voluntarily closed shortly after Nov. 8 when two dozen patrons were sickened with the dangerous E. coli pathogen. Now, however, that outbreak is being blamed on a dessert food manufactured locally and sold by Reno Provisions. “Our epidemiologists and environmental health staff have identified a dessert that was prepared by Reno Provisions,” said Washoe County District Health Officer Kevin Dick. “Several people who ate at the Twisted Fork restaurant had the dessert, as did some other people outside the Reno area, who then developed the E. coli infection.” “That commonality led investigators to the dessert supplier and to tests of food and equipment at Reno Provisions,” Dick added. Now that positive test results have identified a specific E. coli source, the health district’s investigation has shifted focus from the restaurant to the manufacturer. The health district confirms that all of the remaining desserts associated with the E. coli contaminations have been thrown out. Since mid-October, 21 confirmed and probable cases of E. coli 0157:H7 have been reported in Washoe County. “The complete cooperation and engagement in the investigation that we received from Twisted Fork, and their decision to voluntarily close, were significant factors in identifying the E. coli source,” Dick said. Joe Clements, the restaurant’s general manager, said he is glad to be over the incident. “We are pleased the Washoe County Health District has been able to identify the source of the recent E. coli outbreak. Our decision to voluntarily close enabled the investigators to conduct their work more effectively and efficiently, and helped to prevent more patrons from becoming ill,” Clements said. “Given the fact the Washoe County Health District has pinpointed the source of the illnesses and has announced that it has shifted its focus away from The Twisted Fork, we plan to re-open for business on Tuesday, November, 24, 2015. “On a personal level, the owners and I want to offer our extended sympathies to those that were affected by this outbreak. As a family-owned local business, our highest priority will always be the safety and well-being of our customers,” Clements added.
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