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Food

WeHo's Fig & Olive Linked To Bicoastal Salmonella Outbreaks

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West Hollywood's popular Fig & Olive restaurant has been linked to a salmonella outbreak that has sickened people in both L.A. and at their D.C. outpost.

Sometime last week, at least 12 people—including some employees—at the Melrose Place location of the New York-based chain were sickened with salmonella, according to the Food Poisoning Bulletin. Nine of the confirmed cases at the West Hollywood Fig & Olive are believed to be caused by the same salmonella strain as the outbreak in D.C., where at least 70 cases were reported.

"It seems a bit more than a coincidence that the same restaurant is having salmonella issues on each coast," food safety attorney Bill Marler—who has filed at least two lawsuits against the restaurant on behalf of D.C. patrons—tells the L.A. Times. "It certainly raises the specter that there may well be a common ingredient that is causing this bicoastal problem."

While health officials have not yet identified the specific cause of the outbreaks, it's not looking good for the house-made truffle oil. The ingredient—which is included in dishes like fries and mushroom croquettes—has been removed from the menus at both locations, reports the Times.

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Following the initial reports of illness, the West Hollywood location closed briefly while working with the Public Health Department and a third-party food safety firm. Fig & Olive reps told the Times, "After taking steps to ensure that all food preparation and safety standards were being followed, that food stocks were safe, and all employees had been screened, the restaurant reopened the same day with the Health Department's approval." The D.C. location was closed for six days before being allowed to reopen.

Which day the L.A. outbreak occurred has not been released by the restaurant.

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31 People In California Sick With Salmonella Linked To Raw Tuna