NORTH READING (CBS) — Kitty’s Restaurant in North Reading was ordered to close until further notice because it is believed to be at the center of a salmonella outbreak.
On July 3, the Massachusetts Department of Health received complaints of possible salmonella cases from June 23. A total of 39 people filed a complaint. Nine of those have been confirmed cases of salmonella.
“The food suspected to be contaminated was narrowed down to the antipasto salad,” said the department initially. Upon further investigation, “In addition to the antipasto salad, the restaurant’s house salad dressing was identified as a potential source of contamination and is being tested.”
After receiving more reports that people may have also fallen ill on June 25, the Board of Health advised that Kitty’s close to be thoroughly cleaned. It re-opened a day later. All 46 of the restaurant’s employees who may have been working during the outbreak also needed to be tested before returning to work, according to the health department.
“It’s just nothing we have ever dealt with,” said Scott White, the owner of Kitty’s Restaurant. “And we’re sorry for them, and hope everyone gets well.”
A follow-up investigation on Monday revealed “several food safety and sanitation concerns relating to unsanitary conditions, cross contamination and time and temperature abuse.” The restaurant also failed to follow the cleaning standards given and test their employees before they returned to work.
“We run a clean establishment, I don’t know how this got by us,” White said.
As a precaution, the North Reading Board of Health recommends anyone who bought the antipasto salad or house dressing from Kitty’s anytime after June 1 to not eat them. “If you have an unopened bottle of house salad dressing in your home, you are asked to contact the Health Department so that it may potentially be tested,” they added.