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Update on foodborne illness: No cause yet in restaurant outbreak

May 14, 2006

Jessica Aspiras

Since this past Thursday when news of a foodborne illness spread, the phone lines and website of the Ingham County Health Department have been busy.

"We're still inputting data. So the numbers may rise. But what we're asking for now is if they're still interested in reporting that they provide the day and time they ate at Bravo's and also when the onset of illness began."

According to Natasha Davidson, of the Ingham County Health Department, the gastrointestinal outbreak happened after customers ate at Bravo Italian Cucina in the Eastwood Towne Center sometime between May 3rd and 11th. But the cause of the illness is still up in the air.

"It really depends on what happened in the facility as to what caused the illness."

Currently there are 360 confirmed cases. And it's not uncommon to have such a high number when an illness strikes a restaurant.

"If you have contaminated surfaces and people coming in for different shifts and touching surfaces, they can continue to contaminate either food or water."

And there are other possible culprits. So the health department is determined to push forward with its investigation.

"Viruses spread differently than bacteria. Bacteria it's the food. Whereas a virus could be the food and the people spreading it."

But the fact of the matter is the cause may remain a mystery.

"There's a chance we may not find the exact agent that caused the outbreak."

If you experienced vomitting and diarrhea after eating at Bravo Italian Cucina between May 3rd and 11th, please contact the Ingham County Health Department at

517-272-4175 or log on to their website at

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