Mrs Kim’s Donuts in Kingston has quietly announced on its Facebook page that it will reopen “under new management” today, Wednesday 13 April.
The store opened with some fanfare late last year, capitalising on the donut craze that’s been filling Instagram pages elsewhere and offering flavours including Biscoff cheesecake, wild strawberry, cookies and cream, taro, pistachio and traditional jam and cream.
Donut stores are popular in Melbourne and overseas and the owners had noticed a gap in the market in Canberra for their high, light and fluffy treats with a smooth cream filling. They came with considerable experience owning bakeries and patisseries.
However, there were initial issues with border restrictions that prevented their head baker moving to Canberra from Melbourne, and some problems with the specialised equipment needed to produce the donuts.
However, the Tench Street shop voluntarily closed its doors in early December 2021 following numerous reports of alleged food poisoning by at least 190 people. To date, ACT Health has interviewed and surveyed 291 people, of whom 224 had reported illness.
An ACT Health spokesperson said at the time that the illness was associated with norovirus, which is a common virus that causes gastroenteritis.
“Affected people reported consuming food purchased between 20 and 24 November 2021,” he said.
“On average, people became ill about 39 hours after consuming the food, with symptoms lasting about 42 hours.”
The Health Protection Service conducted onsite inspections and determined no further action would be taken.
It’s believed this is the largest case of food poisoning in the ACT to date, overtaking the incident at Dickson’s Copa Brazilian in 2013, where 161 people were poisoned by bad aioli.
Meanwhile Slater and Gordon advised at the time that Canberrans who suffered from food poisoning linked to the shop may have legal rights for redress.
Consumers would need to prove they had contracted food poisoning from the store during the specified time period by providing a receipt of purchase, a bank statement or producing evidence of checking in at the shop.
“If they suffered food poisoning and have incurred any out-of-pocket expenses such as medical bills and loss of income, for example, they should seek legal advice regarding whether a personal injury claim can be pursued,” the firm said.
In a statement at the time, Slater and Gordon Lawyers confirmed it is “investigating multiple claims arising out of a food poisoning episode at Mrs Kim’s.”
Region Media reached out to Mrs Kim’s Donuts for comment.