Raleigh restaurant Evoo possibly tied
to food-borne illness
of Article: http://www.indyweek.com/gyrobase/Content?oid=oid%3A393798
21 APR 2009
Wake County health officials are trying to trace the source of
more than eight possible cases of food-borne illness reported April 17,
which may be connected to Evoo, a Mediterranean restaurant in Raleigh's
"We are currently investigating some reports of
sickness," said André Pierce, director of the environmental health and
safety division of the county's environmental services department.
"The investigation is ongoing and we don't have any results yet."
Because epidemiologists had not yet identified the bacteria,
virus or other agent that may have caused the illness, Pierce declined to
speculate on any commonalities between the victims, including a restaurant
where they may all have eaten.
"Typically we don't implicate a facility until we have
confirmation of lab results," Pierce said.
However, shortly before 10 p.m., the Raleigh-Wake 911 Center
received an emergency call
reporting that someone was ill at Evoo at 2519 Fairview
Road, said Walt Fuller, the center's deputy director in charge of
One paramedic unit was dispatched at 9:50 p.m. and called for
backup upon arriving at the scene, Fuller said. A second paramedic unit, a
quick responder vehicle and a fire engine all responded. In all, nine
rescuers attended victims at the restaurant.
The paramedic units transported an unknown number of victims
to Duke Health Raleigh, Fuller said.
In a possibly related incident, a second 911 call about sick persons, which
came in at about 10:15 p.m., summoned two more ambulances and a district
supervisor to the 1000 block of Vance Street nearby. Two people were taken
to Wake Medical Center from that address, Fuller said.
Pierce, whose department is responsible for inspecting the
1,800 licensed restaurants in Wake County, said as far as he knew Evoo
remained open Tuesday. However, no one was answering the restaurant's phone
Past inspection reports on file with the county (read them at wake.digitalhealthdepartment.com) show that
the restaurant, owned by chef Jean Paul Fontaine, has struggled with
cleanliness issues in the last two years.
The most recent report, dated March 20, noted two
"critical violation risk factors": unsanitary food contact
surfaces, including dirty utensils, and improper holding temperatures for
Statewide health regulations list 18 factors that are given
highest priority in inspections, Pierce said.
"These are those items we know are more likely to
contribute to food-borne illnesses," he said.
Evoo received a score of 92.5 out of 100 possible points in
last month's inspection, despite the deductions for the two critical
On Nov. 20, 2008, inspectors cited one critical violation
pertaining to food storage; raw oysters were being kept over ready-to-eat
items in the walk-in cooler.
Two months earlier, on Sept. 4, 2008, the restaurant was cited
for the same two categories of critical violations as the March 2009
Evoo received a 94.5 score in both September and November