The Moby Dick House of Kabob, a Persian restaurant chain with two dozen locations in the Washington D.C. area, has had 30 good years, but this is not one of them.

Maryland, Virginia and Washington D.C. health departments continue their investigations into Salmonella illnesses likely linked to hummus served at various Moby Dick locations throughout the nation’s capital region.

Hummus production for Moby Dick was suspended in early September and since then the three local health departments have linked 33 sick people to the Salmonella outbreak. The total includes 23 patients in Maryland, nine in Virginia and one in the District of Columbia.

The Maryland Health Department gave the green light to the restaurant’s Hyattsville plant to resume hummus production on Oct. 4.

Founder of the restaurant chain, Mike Daryoush, died earlier this year. He was an Iranian immigrant who fled his native country when the Shah of Iran left. During the Pahlavi’s time,  a restaurant near the American Embassy was called the Moby Dick House of Kabob.

Daryoush, after originally struggling in the restaurant business when he came to the United States, found success by going with Persian kabob food and adopting the Moby Dick House of Kabob name. It’s existence in Iran ended after the Iranian revolution in 1979.

Daryoush first opened a traditional American breakfast and lunch restaurant in Bethesda in 1989,  but only found real success after installing a clay oven to produce fresh pieta. From there the Moby Dick House of Kabob and with a full Persian menu became a fixture in the capital region.

The local health departments continue to investigate the hummus-related Salmonella outbreak.

Most people infected with salmonella infections develop symptoms including diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps within six hours to four days after infection. The illness usually lasts four to seven days and most people recover without treatment. Some people, including the elderly, infants and those with impaired immune systems are more likely to experience severe illness and may require hospitalization. On average, there are 900 to 1,000 confirmed salmonella infections reported in Maryland each year.

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