Two people died and more than 40 others contracted a possible foodborne illness after eating at a sushi restaurant in Montana.
Donna Ventura, 64, and William Lewis, 74, died after an April 17 dinner at the now-closed Dave’s Sushi restaurant in Bozeman. The victims ordered the “special bun,” which included salmon and morels, the local news station reported KBZK reported.
After an investigation by the FDA and the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services, it was discovered that the morels served at the restaurant were farmed in China, shipped to a distributor in California, and then shipped to several states. No other states have reported outbreaks at this time.
Ventura was taken to Bozeman Health Deaconess Regional Medical Center the day she ate at the restaurant after collapsing at home. She went into cardiac arrest, suffered organ failure and eventually died 13 days after eating at Dave’s Sushi.
Ventura’s husband has since filed a lawsuit Wrongful death lawsuit against the restaurantwhich is scheduled to reopen later in May.
Meanwhile, Lewis died the morning after his visit to the facility.
The restaurant closed on April 21 after receiving multiple complaints of food poisoning from customers.
“We assume that several of our customers who dined with us on Monday, April 17, 2023 have fallen ill,” the restaurant said in a statement opinion at that time. “We believe the most common ingredient that may have been consumed was FDA-approved, farmed morels, which were used in Monday’s special bun.”
Earlier this month, the Gallatin City-County Health Department said three other people had developed severe symptoms and required hospital treatment. An inspection on April 18 found there were four violations at the restaurant.
An inquest is underway to officially determine the cause of death, although health officials have said it may not be possible with certainty.
Authorities said the restaurant was cooperating with the investigation. The facility also said it had hired a sanitation consultant to assess the circumstances of the outbreak.
The Independent has contacted Dave’s Sushi and the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services.