Colorado’s Larimer County Department of Health and Environment (LCDHE) is investigating an outbreak of Salmonella illness at La Luz Mexican Restaurant in Old Town Fort Collins.
LCDHE reports at least six confirmed cases with additional cases pending investigation and testing. Some of the confirmed cases have been hospitalized.
La Luz, located at 200 Walnut Street in the Fort Collins “Old Town” neighborhood, decided to close until public health officials know more about the outbreak.
The restaurant is cooperating with the investigation but has had troubles in the last couple of years with inspections. In eight inspections since January 2017, the best rating La Luz received was a “fair.” Its other scores were one “unacceptable” and six inspections that ended with “not rated”
“La Luz is primarily concerned with the safety of its customers and the integrity of its food supply and wants to prevent any further illness as best they can,” LCDHE’s statement said.
Larimer County restaurant inspectors spent 150 minutes at La Luz doing a follow-up inspection on Aug. 17. It was found ‘out of compliance” for cooling, cold holding, permitting employees to eat, smoke, or drink while on duty, maintenance of cutting boards and utensils, re-using service articles, lighting, missing hand soap, hand towels or dryer, and for the evidence of insects on the premises.
Salmonella is bacteria that can cause infections affecting the intestinal tract, urinary tract, bloodstream or other body tissues. Salmonella is often spread to people through food consumption. The bacteria can be found in many food items including raw meats, eggs, produce. Salmonella can be spread through people who are sick who handle food. Some people who are infected are asymptomatic and can spread the infection unknowingly.
Symptoms may include, diarrhea, fever, abdominal cramps, vomiting and bloody stool. Symptoms typically appear 6-72 hours after eating contaminated food and will usually last for 4 to 7 days. In severe cases, the symptoms may last longer or require hospitalization.
The public in Northern Colorado can report concerns or illnesses regarding this situation at larimer.org/sick. Information about Salmonella can be found on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website: https://www.cdc.gov/salmonella/index.html.
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