14 May 2013

Were you hit by the lurgy? Copa the suspect

| johnboy
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copa

2CC is tweeting that 22 people were hospitalised by a food poisoning outbreak over the weekend.

Were you hit? And what have you heard?


UPDATE 14 May 2013 13:10: We’re hearing from multiple sources that the suspect is the new Zeffirellis vehicle Copa. If so one can wonder if Brazilian BBQ is a bit trickier to cook than pasta.


UPDATE 14 May 2013 14:40: Copa have now made a statement on their facebook page:

The Copa has been cooperating with ACT Health to determine the cause of a suspected food health issue over the weekend and once confirmed we will update our patrons with news as soon as possible.

While working with ACT Health, The Copa has taken the opportunity to temporarily close to resolve a ventilation issue that is prohibiting the extraction of smoke caused from cooking over hot coals in the restaurant.

We appreciate your ongoing support and expect to be open as soon as possible.

screenthsot

UPDATE 14 May 2013 17:50: We appear to have a one-restaurant health crisis underway:

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$8 for a chair is a bargain! Just don’t eat it or you’ll get sick.

dungfungus said :

OpenYourMind said :

It was the salmon mousse.

You mean the salmonella mouse?

But I didn’t eat the salmon mousse?

OpenYourMind said :

It was the salmon mousse.

You mean the salmonella mouse?

the situation appears to have taken a turn for the worse at the hospital last night….

Emergency response protocols activated at Canberra Hospital in response to outbreak.bit.ly/10EUOzj— ACT Health (@ACTHealth) May 14, 2013

breda said :

We don’t know what made people who ate at this restaurant sick. But, people need to get a grip.

For a start, red meat on its own, even if it is old, is pretty safe. The English aristocracy used to hang pheasants and beef for weeks before eating them.

Generally speaking, it is not the bacteria associated with food decomposition that make you sick. Otherwise, how could you eat cheese, yogurt, ham, smoked fish or proper ham? They all rely on decomposition of fresh food, often in conditions that would leave ACT Health clutching their collective pearls …

It sounds like salmonella, could be something else. But, it has nothing to do with barbequing meat, and whether or not it has been cooked too fast or whatever. If the meat is OK, it matters not at all. You could eat it raw without ill-effects – apart from indigestion.

The last time we had this kind of problem, it was the oh-so-groovy Silo. Their poo-encrusted “organic” eggs wreaked havoc with the alimentary canals of diners, some of whom ended up in hospital.

If the meat at this restaurant (and it may have been the salad) made people sick, it was due to contamination, not the age of the food. The rest is mythology

Meat, the eggs in mayo, the bread, vermin droppings in coffee…insert possible theory here….for that many people to be affected is quite serious. Especially in an anal, heavily regulated first world town like Canberra.

I am more than flexible in re-visitng a venue if an eatery has a bad night resulting in bad service, long waiting times etc, even poor ventilation!

But food poisoning is a no-no. There are so many pieces of documentation to complete just to have a food handling license, and if these guys who have been in the industry, and in the same location for so many years can’t get it right, that’s a problem.

If I pay $45, I expect that part of that will go towards the ingredients, wages, overheads, knowing that your food has been prepared and handled properly.

I am pregnant, and so I take a huge risk each time I eat out at the moment, and I pay for my meals with the expectation and good will that the business undertakes BASIC hygiene and food handling seriously, vermin control etc and ensures each of their staff understand this too.

Canberra is too small a place to get away with this, and there are great eateries in this town that are committed to valuing their customer and are making $ without risking their customer’s health.

Was in Dickson for dinner tonight, looks like they’ve taken the neon sign down so people don’t recognise the brand!

I’m loving all the keyboard sleuths on here asserting how it happened! Hahaha!

I can confirm its salmonella.

We don’t know what made people who ate at this restaurant sick. But, people need to get a grip.

For a start, red meat on its own, even if it is old, is pretty safe. The English aristocracy used to hang pheasants and beef for weeks before eating them.

Generally speaking, it is not the bacteria associated with food decomposition that make you sick. Otherwise, how could you eat cheese, yogurt, ham, smoked fish or proper ham? They all rely on decomposition of fresh food, often in conditions that would leave ACT Health clutching their collective pearls …

It sounds like salmonella, could be something else. But, it has nothing to do with barbequing meat, and whether or not it has been cooked too fast or whatever. If the meat is OK, it matters not at all. You could eat it raw without ill-effects – apart from indigestion.

The last time we had this kind of problem, it was the oh-so-groovy Silo. Their poo-encrusted “organic” eggs wreaked havoc with the alimentary canals of diners, some of whom ended up in hospital.

If the meat at this restaurant (and it may have been the salad) made people sick, it was due to contamination, not the age of the food. The rest is mythology

What, no one complaining about nanny state health regulations….

This restaurant can never reopen. It’s probably a disaster for the owner, invested all the money and then this. Not that it’s an excuse but I can understand him being upset,

On the plus side there will be some happy lawyers. All those in hospital, make a claim. Unless, you know, you think lawyers are all thieves and should not be allowed to exist

The ACTGov Health Inspector on ABC666 indicated it was almost certainly related to eggs, as the gastro enteritis was caused by salmonella and not ecoli.

drfelonious said :

Is anyone familiar in any detail with the way that Brazilian BBQ is prepared?

I mean there is food poisoning and really bad food poisoning and this is not the first time I have heard of Brazilian BBQ being linked to the latter. Would love to know what it is about this style of cooking that might leave the end product more prone to contamination?

It might not be the meat….I’ve not been to this one obviously but at others, they generally have a salad buffet where you just help yourself as a starter
For so many people to be affected it must be something that everybody would have eaten, like a big batch of dodgy coleslaw, dip or unwashed leaves? Depends what they diagnose the illness as really….you can’t imagine that every serving of meat over a few days would be off, but salad isn’t so unusual.

drfelonious said :

Is anyone familiar in any detail with the way that Brazilian BBQ is prepared?

I mean there is food poisoning and really bad food poisoning and this is not the first time I have heard of Brazilian BBQ being linked to the latter. Would love to know what it is about this style of cooking that might leave the end product more prone to contamination?

It’s basically meat cooked over open flame, and traditionally, it’s big pieces of meat.
It’s put onto skewers and rotated over the flames in something resembling a foosball table with a canopy.

It’s the application of heat to meat, there’s nothing particularly unique in that. Same rules about temperature and separation of different meats still apply. Obviously at some point, temperature control hasn’t been adhered to. And given the style of food is very much aimed at large batches served to groups, that can make a lot of trouble very quickly.

OpenYourMind8:29 pm 14 May 13

It was the salmon mousse.

screaming banshee7:49 pm 14 May 13

Mothy said :

Seconded – its somewhere we can take our two year old, they can learn how to behave in a restaurant, and eat some penne while we can have some non-prefabricated pizza without having to endure the sneers of hipsters and wait-staff (or worse, hipster wait staff) at the likes of Firestone or Italian and Sons.

We’ve taken our two boys out to restaurants since day 1, just make sure you bring something along for them to do, stickers are easy, but don’t just stick them with a iPhone to play games all night. The good places know to get the kids meals out early and lots provide bits for colouring. Italian and sons were one of the best, ox eatery, bicicleta, grazing, flint in the vines, courgette, and lanterne rooms have all been good.

My thoughts go to the victims, I’d rather a hundred flu’s then what they going through.

Is anyone familiar in any detail with the way that Brazilian BBQ is prepared?

I mean there is food poisoning and really bad food poisoning and this is not the first time I have heard of Brazilian BBQ being linked to the latter. Would love to know what it is about this style of cooking that might leave the end product more prone to contamination?

pepmeup said :

I’ve heard over 70 people have presented at hospital over this issue, I bet they will be back operating and full again with in weeks. No one will think twice about visiting them

Can anyone actually verify this? A nasty piece of gossip if untrue and a complete disaster if true. 🙁

johnboy said :

under-trained and rushed is my gut feeling guess.

See this is why I cringed when they announced Jamie Oliver’s restaurant would need 100 staff. Where are they going to find that many who can do a decent job, even the top places in town struggle to hire a couple at a time who can cope.

There is a reason there are food safety standards, and if a restaurant can’t follow the basics, I have zero sympathy for them. I hope they don’t open again. It was bad enough being slowly given an asthma attack due to the lack of ventilation (yes, they did have a problem, the fans weren’t running at all), but not a single staff member commented on it or apologized. That should tell you all you need to know about the amount of care they have for their patrons. I have never been admitted to hospital in my life before, let alone for the intense intestinal pain I am being subjected to. Happy Mothers Day indeed.

I ate Brazilian BBQ at Darling Harbour a little while ago, and was excited to see it coming to Canberra. Might be worth leaving it for a special visit to Sydney treat!

ACT Health are saying that the people affected ate there at various times over the weekend, so it’s not like there was just an undercooked piece of meat, their issues obviously extended for days.

All that’s needed now is for an enterprising person to open a competing restaurant, and The Copa could be in all sorts of trouble.

I hope everyone sitting in ED’s at the moment has a swift recovery 🙁

johnboy said :

I think we can safely say they’ll be the safest place in town if they re-open.

And the quietest for a while!

Well in that case perhaps you should send Barcham there as the guinea pig 🙂

I’m thinking this is way too ubiquitous to be something that is caused by one restaurant.

Just a suggestion, but should authority start looking in to suppliers rather than the restaurant(s)?

c_c™ said :

As I said, another crazy owner. WIn News tonight had footage of the owner trying to manhandle the camera crew filming the premises prompting him to be physically restrained by one of the crew.

Have just watched that on WIN..The owners face is familiar, methinks he is a member of a large family that used to own a string of supermarkets then delis before moving into the restaurant trade.

As I said, another crazy owner. WIn News tonight had footage of the owner trying to manhandle the camera crew filming the premises prompting him to be physically restrained by one of the crew.

I think we can safely say they’ll be the safest place in town if they re-open.

And the quietest for a while!

Named on WIN news.

johnboy said :

under-trained and rushed is my gut feeling guess.

“gut feeling” ha ha
Couldn’t let that one pass.

Pork Hunt said :

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd said :

johnboy said :

Wild guess I’d say the marinating was not done at low temp and then the meat was cooked too fast.

Both easy things to happen in a busy opening weekend.

Easy things to happen if you are careless assholes. It’s even easier to make this not happen, regardless of opening weekend or not.

The assholes are not the problem, the tainted food was taken orally…

Got a sauce for that?

So glad the matriarch in our family is Vegetarian. If it had been father’s day weekend, this restaurant would have been tempting! We walked past- it looked like fun….

My gut is telling me to give Copa a big miss until they lift their game.I wonder whether they’ll be giving those poisoned a meal on the house?

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd said :

johnboy said :

Wild guess I’d say the marinating was not done at low temp and then the meat was cooked too fast.

Both easy things to happen in a busy opening weekend.

Easy things to happen if you are careless assholes. It’s even easier to make this not happen, regardless of opening weekend or not.

+1 you would expect this from a large family bbq- but we don’t hear of this. A restaurant who has been in the game before should know better. Add to that the possibility of buying cheap dodgy meat/ cross-contamination etc.

A stitch in time saves 9- or 70++!

All my best recovery wishes to the families. Brazilian food is a great way to share with family and friends. May this not deter people from eating Brazilian food in the future. As not all eateries are the same.

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd said :

johnboy said :

Wild guess I’d say the marinating was not done at low temp and then the meat was cooked too fast.

Both easy things to happen in a busy opening weekend.

Easy things to happen if you are careless assholes. It’s even easier to make this not happen, regardless of opening weekend or not.

The assholes are not the problem, the tainted food was taken orally…

The Asado (Argentinian BBQ) I attended in Reid was awesome. Seriously good food. I can only surmise that a Brazilian BBQ is similar in taste (Sth Americans, or those in the know, please feel free to correct me).

I hope the folk that are unwell don’t suffer too long. I imagine they feel bloody dreadful at the moment.
Bummer this has happened to The Copa. Hopefully they get their act together.

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd6:00 pm 14 May 13

johnboy said :

Wild guess I’d say the marinating was not done at low temp and then the meat was cooked too fast.

Both easy things to happen in a busy opening weekend.

Easy things to happen if you are careless assholes. It’s even easier to make this not happen, regardless of opening weekend or not.

under-trained and rushed is my gut feeling guess.

OverLord said :

We took mum out for Mother’s Day Sunday night, now all 6 of us are currently sitting in Calvary ED on fluids and pain meds. Apparently they have had about 20 people through so far and TCH are getting slammed as well.

This whole “voluntarily closing” to fix the exhaust fans is bulls***.

Sounds better than ‘taken the opportunity to temporarily close to avoid killing someone’

I’ve heard over 70 people have presented at hospital over this issue, I bet they will be back operating and full again with in weeks. No one will think twice about visiting them

johnboy said :

Wild guess I’d say the marinating was not done at low temp and then the meat was cooked too fast.

Both easy things to happen in a busy opening weekend.

Yes, meat too long in the danger zone would certainly do it.

Not cooling a brine or marinate, leaving marinated meat out, cross contamination of cooked and raw meat, not transferring directly from fridge to cooker all can result in bacterial growth.

Lots of chicken there too and the type of communal eating means that a lot of people will get infected not just the ones that order a particular dish off the menu.

Thoughts go out to the stricken, it can be pretty serious.

ACT Health is tweeting the hospitals are now full to overflowing.

SMS from a friend:

It was from The Copa in Dickson, new Brazilian place. I’m luckily not affected, but everyone else at my table is in hospital now. We ate Sunday night.

The article is inaccurate. There’s 20 ppl alone just yesterday (Monday), dozen or so day before.

Still in hospital. Ppl keep coming in, too! The hospital has run out of beds!

Haven’t heard back about which hospital he’s with (he’s looking after his partner and her family).

Wild guess I’d say the marinating was not done at low temp and then the meat was cooked too fast.

Both easy things to happen in a busy opening weekend.

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd4:55 pm 14 May 13

I do not get it. I will be honest and say I have never tried and Brazilian BBQ and know zero about it. However, I am a BBQ specialist. I am not seeing how’s its possible to eff up so many customers? A quick google did not say anything about increased risk Brazilian style BBQ.

Bad meat or salmonella is my guess.
I, gonna check the menu later(if online) and then give my expert opinion.

c_c™ said :

That statement they put out is BS. Typical food business owner, arrogant and in denial.

“We appreciate your ongoing support and expect to be open as soon as possible.”

No, how about you’ll open once you’ve figured out how you stuffed up and not before you can guarantee the safety of customers.

+1
ventilation- surely they would have had a few practices runs, ensured it worked, trained their staff on using a bbq, trained their staff on HANDLING MEAT??? Ventilation is the biggest bs excuse I’ve heard.
I’d say it was the handling and probably reusing of the meat/ chicken. It’s worked in other locales around Australia, why can’t Zeferelli’s (or whatever the family business are reincarnating themselves as these days) just get their act together, pay their staff proper wages and send them on proper food handling training courses, and be in the local media for all the right reasons instead.

Deref said :

…it was the first step up – sort of a half way house – for kiddies when they were in the process of graduating from McDonalds to restaurants.

Seconded – its somewhere we can take our two year old, they can learn how to behave in a restaurant, and eat some penne while we can have some non-prefabricated pizza without having to endure the sneers of hipsters and wait-staff (or worse, hipster wait staff) at the likes of Firestone or Italian and Sons.

*duck and cover*

Didn’t realize Zeff’s Dickson was gone – where will the busloads of school kids on excursion go now? 🙂

So Belco is the last Zeff’s standing?

Sad to see this hit Copa early on in the piece, the concept sounded great, albeit a “get the babysitter” type outing.

thebrownstreak694:13 pm 14 May 13

Maybe they didn’t shave all the hair off the meat before they cooked it.

Spiral said :

Deref said :

It was awful, but it was the first step up – sort of a half way house – for kiddies when they were in the process of graduating from McDonalds to restaurants.

So the restaurant world’s version of methadone.

At least Macca’s is pretty stringent about keeping to standards of hygiene etc. They’re too big to be able to get away with not keeping to industry standards.

Ian said :

Maybe they went a bit too authentic in replicating a dirty Sao Paulo slum?

You really can’t replicate those open sewers without going all the way.

Maybe they went a bit too authentic in replicating a dirty Sao Paulo slum?

That statement they put out is BS. Typical food business owner, arrogant and in denial.

“We appreciate your ongoing support and expect to be open as soon as possible.”

No, how about you’ll open once you’ve figured out how you stuffed up and not before you can guarantee the safety of customers.

“At the Copa, the dirtiest place south of Havana…”

We took mum out for Mother’s Day Sunday night, now all 6 of us are currently sitting in Calvary ED on fluids and pain meds. Apparently they have had about 20 people through so far and TCH are getting slammed as well.

This whole “voluntarily closing” to fix the exhaust fans is bulls***.

Holden Caulfield3:02 pm 14 May 13

DrKoresh said :

I can’t stand Zeffo’s, everything about it, from its business practices to the quality of its food and service, is abhorrent and I don’t know why it seems to be such a popular family diner.

Co-signed.

Deref said :

It was awful, but it was the first step up – sort of a half way house – for kiddies when they were in the process of graduating from McDonalds to restaurants.

So the restaurant world’s version of methadone.

Mike Bessenger2:22 pm 14 May 13

The copa have made a statement on their facebook page
https://www.facebook.com/thecopabc

DrKoresh said :

I can’t stand Zeffo’s, everything about it, from its business practices to the quality of its food and service, is abhorrent and I don’t know why it seems to be such a popular family diner.

It was awful, but it was the first step up – sort of a half way house – for kiddies when they were in the process of graduating from McDonalds to restaurants.

I can’t stand Zeffo’s, everything about it, from its business practices to the quality of its food and service, is abhorrent and I don’t know why it seems to be such a popular family diner.

It’s been named by the Canberra Times now, such a great shame as Brazilian barbecue is such a wondrous thing when done properly, and we desperately needed a churrascaria here.

gentoopenguin1:23 pm 14 May 13

Reminds me of the Bridesmaids movie, where the girls go out for South American BBQ and end up with food poisioning…. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a6gChlcBDmQ

4 days in business!

It could be brazilian BBQ is a bit harder to execute than a chicken caesar

Was the eatery in Canberra or across the border?

Copa in dickson. Used to be zefferellies.

kevin22 said :

Well the reason the eatery hasn’t being name yet, because it wasn’t a an asian or indian restaurant.

That’s just bloody racist of the authorities, innit?
However, the fact that it is located in Dickson may give a clue.

I’m speculating that it could be the new Brazilian place Copa (going by the fact that it is now closed after supposedly opening briefly over the weekend)

Well, apparently it was in Dickson, so probably was Asian of some sort.

Well the reason the eatery hasn’t being name yet, because it wasn’t a an asian or indian restaurant.

I’ve seen it tweeted by Canberra Times, 666, and now you and 2CC – I’m surprised no one is yet naming the eatery concerned.

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