SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – The San Francisco Department of Health confirmed Thursday that the House of Prime Rib had voluntarily closed to investigate complaints of alleged foodborne illnesses at the popular restaurant.
The city’s health department issued a press release Thursday saying it was “aware of ongoing online complaints and alleged foodborne illnesses related to the House of Prime Rib on 1906 Van Ness Avenue”.
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“The owner has agreed to be voluntarily accessible to the public for 24 hours from today (May 13th) so that the DPH health inspectors can ensure that the preparation of meals and the handling of food are safe and coded,” it says in the explanation.
The restaurant had been serving takeaway for much of the COVID-19 pandemic but resumed dinner service in the restaurant in March.
The announcement said the SFDPH office had a total of 22 disease complaints related to the restaurant by Thursday morning. So far, officials from the Ministry of Health have interviewed a total of 55 people as part of their investigation into possible foodborne illnesses.
“The epidemiologically-based interviews with the complainants include identification of common foods, symptoms, time from eating the meal to when they feel sick and other potential exposures,” the memo reads.
According to the department’s standard protocol, the latest complaints led SFDPH officials to conduct a food-borne illness test at the restaurant on Tuesday. This on-site inspection revealed no causal link between the observations made and the suspected foodborne diseases.
The restaurant reported on the visit on its Instagram page.
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SFDPH officials said the investigation into the diseases associated with the restaurants was ongoing and noted that the department would track any additional reports of foodborne illnesses.
“We are working closely with the restaurant owner to identify possible problems in the facility that could lead to foodborne diseases,” the statement said.
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The department also noted that it is informed through a variety of private online websites sharing experiences and complaints about foodborne diseases. However, anyone who has symptoms of a foodborne illness is strongly encouraged to submit a formal report on the San Francisco Department of Public Health website.