UPDATE: After Food Prep Changes, Boise Co-op Reopens Its Deli Friday
Update at 3:52 p.m.: The Boise Co-op reopened the store's deli following a health inspection Friday. Read more here.
The Boise Co-op’s deli is usually a bustling place. The North End store – which upgraded its deli in 2012 to stay competitive as chains like Whole Foods moved in – gets nearly a fifth of its business from the deli.
But after reports of salmonella, the Co-op decided to close that section of the store on Monday.
Around 200 cases of salmonella have now been connected with food eaten from the deli. The Central District Health Department (CDHD) is investigating the cause of the outbreak, but preliminary tests show it was linked to raw turkey, tomatoes and onions.
Co-op Marketing Manager Mo Valko says the store has sanitized and revamped its food prep area, adding things like color-coded cutting boards to help deli employees stop any cross-contamination from occurring. They've also added another handwashing sink and more training with deli employees. She says they’ve done all they can to let customers know about the outbreak.
“Central District Health Department informed us that the cases were associated with food consumed starting June 1," says Valko, "and we made the decision to just add a couple days to that to notify our customers.”
Valko says the Co-op – which relies on paid memberships from patrons – has heard from customers who want to show their continued support for the store even after the outbreak.
The Co-op has another inspection early Friday, and could be given the OK to reopen the deli immediately afterwards. Christine Myron with CDHD says the number of reported cases has gone down the last few days, but the food borne illness could still be passed from a sick person to a healthy one.
For more information about salmonella and how to report symptoms, click here.
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