Foodborne Illnesses / /

Dave’s Sushi linked to Morel Mushroom Outbreak - 50 Sick

As of May 15, 2023, the investigation has identified 50 ill people who ate at the restaurant between March 28 and April 17, 2023, of whom 44 people reported eating morel mushrooms. There have been three hospitalizations and two deaths associated with this incident. A sample of leftover mushrooms were collected from the restaurant and laboratory analysis determined that the sampled mushrooms were true morels.

Currently, no pathogen, toxin, pesticide, or heavy metal has been identified; however, state and local partners have collected consumer samples from the restaurant and testing and analysis are ongoing. Although epidemiological evidence indicates that morel mushrooms consumed at the restaurant are likely the cause of illnesses, mushroom poisonings can be difficult to diagnose as the exact chemical nature of some toxins found in wild-type mushrooms are currently unknown.

Toxicology reports as well as autopsies will help determine the manner and cause of death for the two individuals. Currently the investigation indicates that those sickened were ill within 30 minutes to 4.5 hours after eating their meal. Local health officials and state partners are testing for potential pathogens to help identify the cause of this outbreak.

The FDA has not specifically named the mushrooms as the source of the outbreak, but the agency is assisting Montana officials with the outbreak investigation. Local officials reported that morel mushrooms served at the restaurant in question are the primary suspect source in the outbreak.

According to Broadwater County Sheriff Nick Rauser, a man died after eating at the popular Bozeman restaurant, Dave’s Sushi. Sheriff Rauser says a 74-year-old man died at his home in Broadwater County. Sheriff Rauser says the call came in at 6:34 AM on the morning of April 18 and a relative told the responding officer that the man had eaten at Dave’s Sushi the night before, the same night the Gallatin County Health Department reported they received complaints of people becoming ill which led to the investigation and closure of the restaurant. The second person to die was Donna Ventura, 64, of Belgrade, Montana.

The morel mushrooms served at the restaurant were not distributed to any other restaurants or businesses in Montana. The mushrooms were grown in China, shipped to a distributor in California, and then sent to multiple states. There are no known illnesses in other states at this time.

“DPHHS supports the Gallatin City-County Health Department with this investigation by coordinating with other local county health departments across the state who have reported illnesses associated with this outbreak. DPHHS is also working closely with federal partners assisting with this investigation, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Food and Drug Administration,” said DPHHS epidemiologist Rachel Hinnenkamp of the Communicable Disease and Epidemiology Section.

Anyone who ate at the restaurant from late March through mid-April is urged to contact a doctor and public health officials, according to the Gallatin City-County Health Department and the Department of Public Health and Human Services. Contact information for all local health departments is here.

Recently the FDA posted on its website:

A new investigation has been added to the table (ref#1152). The pathogen/cause of illness and products linked to illnesses is identified as morel mushrooms (suspect), there are 41illnesses from one state linked to a single restaurant that has suspended operations. FDA has initiated traceback in coordination with state partners.

Active Investigations



Cause of

Linked to

(if any)










Not Yet Identified

Morel Mushroom



See Advice

About morel mushrooms
Eating raw or undercooked morel mushrooms can be risky because they contain a naturally occurring toxin called hydrazine, which can cause gastrointestinal distress if ingested in sufficient quantities. The toxin is destroyed by cooking, so it’s important to always cook morels thoroughly before eating.

Hydrazine is a toxic chemical that can cause a variety of side effects if ingested in sufficient quantities. Some of the most common side effects of hydrazine toxicity include:

  • Gastrointestinal distress: Hydrazine can cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, as well as abdominal pain and cramping.
  • Central nervous system effects: Hydrazine can affect the brain and nervous system, causing symptoms such as headache, dizziness, confusion, and seizures.
  • Liver and kidney damage: Hydrazine can cause damage to the liver and kidneys, leading to jaundice, dark urine, and decreased urine output.
  • Respiratory effects: Hydrazine can cause respiratory distress, including coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath.
  • Cardiovascular effects: Hydrazine can affect the heart and circulatory system, causing chest pain, irregular heartbeat, and high blood pressure.

Hydrazine toxicity is relatively rare and typically only occurs if large quantities of hydrazine are ingested. Most people who consume undercooked or raw morels will not experience any significant side effects. However, if you do experience any symptoms after consuming morels, it’s important to seek medical attention right away.

About the restaurant

On April 18, the health department performed an inspection and reportedly found Dave’s Sushi with four violations.

Dave's Sushi - Inspection Report Address: 115 N Bozeman Ave Bozeman MT 59715 Establishment Type: FR 01 Food Service Establishment FR 02 Tavern or Bar FR 06 Food Manufacturer (On-site Retail - Take Out) FR 10 Food Service / Catering (On-site Retail Only) Phone No.: (406) 556-1351

Inspection details Inspection Date 18 April, 2023 Inspection Type Routine Risk Factor/Intervention (RFI) Violations 4

Violation Details Regulation Code Reference Violation & Comments 3-501.16

Cold time/temperature control for safety food not adequately temperature controlled. RISK FACTOR/INTERVENTION RECOMMENDED RESOLUTION: Time/temperature control for safety food shall be cold held at 5°C (41°F) or less. Eggs shall be stored at a temperature of 7°C (45°F) or less. OBSERVATIONS & CORRECTIVE ACTIONS: At time of inspection one of the front cooler prep stations was temping at temperature ranging between 45-47F. The spicy salmon was measured with a probe thermometer to have a internal temperature of 46F, the salmon Ikura was temped to be at 45F and the wasabi was temped to be at 47F. Staff were informed an staff moved locations to stop using this prep station. Please ensure any food items above 41F are disposed of and the cooler is able to store foods at 41F or lower within 3 days of this inspection. Please send an email to within 3 days to follow up on the coolers. 3-304.14

Wiping cloths not stored in sanitizer between uses or sanitizer of appropriate strength. RECOMMENDED RESOLUTION: Cloths in-use for wiping counters and other equipment surfaces shall be held between uses in a chemical sanitizer solution at a concentration as specified. OBSERVATIONS & CORRECTIVE ACTIONS: At time of inspection sanitizer cloths were observe dot be stored on top of the work stations and not in the sanitizer buckets. This item was discussed with the manager at time of inspection. Please have all staff store the sanitizer rags in the sanitizer buckets within 10 days of this inspection and send an email to once completed. 7-102.11

Working containers filled from bulk supplies not clearly labeled. RECOMMENDED RESOLUTION: Working containers used for storing poisonous or toxic materials such as cleaners and sanitizers taken from bulk supplies shall be clearly and individually identified with the common name of the material. OBSERVATIONS & CORRECTIVE ACTIONS: At time of inspection the chemicals used to clean the front tables were not labeled on the spray bottles. Please ensure all chemical bottles are labeled within 10 days of this inspection and send an email to once complete. 3-203.12

Shellstock tags not maintained for 90 days. RISK FACTOR/INTERVENTION RECOMMENDED RESOLUTION: The identity of the source of shellstock that are sold or served shall be maintained by retaining shellstock tags or labels for 90 calendar days from the date that is recorded on the tag or label. OBSERVATIONS & CORRECTIVE ACTIONS: At time of inspection the shellstock tags for April were not available. Please ensure that all shellstock tags are kept and available for at least 90 days from the date recorded on the tag or label within 10 days of this inspection. If the shell stock tags are found please email them to within 10 days of this inspection. 7-209.11

Improper storage of personal care items. RECOMMENDED RESOLUTION: Employees shall store their personal care items in facilities as specified under ¶ 6-305.11(B). OBSERVATIONS & CORRECTIVE ACTIONS: Personal storage items were observed to be stored without a lid above food items at time of inspection. Please ensure these items are stored where they will not potentially contaminate food items within 10 days of this inspection. 3-603.11

Consumer advisory for consumption of raw or undercooked animal food not adequate. RECOMMENDED RESOLUTION: If an animal food such as beef, eggs, fish, lamb, milk, pork, poultry, or shellfish is served or sold raw, undercooked, or without otherwise being processed to eliminate pathogens, either in ready-to-eat form or as an ingredient in another ready-to-eat food, the permit holder shall inform consumers of the significantly increased risk of consuming such foods by way of a disclosure and reminder. Identification of the animal-derived FOODS by asterisking them to a footnote that states that the items are served raw or undercooked, or contain (or may contain) raw or undercooked ingredients. OBSERVATIONS & CORRECTIVE ACTIONS: At time of inspection the consumer advisory was observed on the menu to be missing a asterisk next to each item that is served raw or undercooked. Please update the menu within 10 days of this inspection and send an email to within the updated version. 3-501.19

Improper 4-hour time control procedures. RISK FACTOR/INTERVENTION RECOMMENDED RESOLUTION: The food shall have an initial temperature of 5°C (41°F) or less when removed from cold holding temperature control, or 57°C (135°F) or greater when removed from hot holding temperature control; the food shall be cooked and served, served at any temperature if ready-to-eat, or discarded, within 4 hours from the point in time when the food is removed from temperature control; and the food in unmarked containers or packages, or marked to exceed a 4-hour limit shall be discarded. OBSERVATIONS & CORRECTIVE ACTIONS: At time of inspection the facility said they use time as a public health control for sushi rice as they do not have a approved HACCP on file. a time as a public health control protocol and monitor records were not available for review. Please ensure a protocol and a temp/ time log is kept for each batch of rice within 3 days of this inspection and send an email to. 4-101.11

Utensils and food-contact surfaces of equipment not safe RISK FACTOR/INTERVENTION RECOMMENDED RESOLUTION: Materials that are used in the construction of utensils and food-contact surfaces of equipment may not allow the migration of deleterious substances or impart colors, odors, or tastes to food and under normal use conditions shall be safe and finished to have a SMOOTH, EASILY CLEANABLE surface; and Resistant to pitting, chipping, crazing, scratching, scoring, distortion, and decomposition. OBSERVATIONS & CORRECTIVE ACTIONS: At time of inspection some of the utensils were observed to have chips in them and changed colors. Please replace the utensil items that were show to staff within 3 days of this inspection. Please send an email to once these items have been thrown away.

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