La Luz Mexican Grill Inc., an Old Town Fort Collins, CO, restaurant associated with a local Salmonella outbreak that sickened at least 30 of its customers, has gone out of business.
The restaurant at 200 Walnut St. in Fort Collins re-opened Sept. 11 after a temporary closure of almost three weeks because of a Larimer County Health Department investigation into the Salmonella outbreak. But La Luz was out of business by Sept 17. The owners covered the restaurant’s windows and scrubbed the La Luz website and Facebook sites of their content. A sign on the front door included a thank you note for customers and a notice that the building was available for sale or lease.
Old Town Fort Collins is a hotspot for restaurants and bars in the Northern Colorado city of 165,000. It is home to Colorado State University and its more than 22,000 undergraduate students.
The Larimer County Health Department gave La Luz permission to re-open on Sept. 6 after the restaurant was re-inspected but still found with violations that required corrections. An inspector noticed condensation dripping into a pan of salsa from a walk-in cooler fan and requested that it be discarded. La Luz tossed it and repaired the leak from the recently installed cooler fan.
An inspector also found raw ground beef on a sheet pan containing pork butts with the potential for cross-contamination. The problem was corrected when La Luz followed proper storage protocols.
Larimer County has not named an exact source of the Salmonella infections among the restaurant’s customers. At least two who were infected have sued the restaurant. Both said they ate chips and salsa. One ate a chicken quesadilla and other tacos.
La Luz opened at the Old Town location in 2013. Two other restaurants operating under the La Luz brand in Larimer County have different owners. They are not involved in the outbreak.
The La Luz restaurant in nearby Loveland, CO, temporarily closed Sept. 12 without saying why, but reportedly will re-open soon. The La Luz Mexican Grill at 140 E. Broadwalk Drive in Fort Collins remains open for business.
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