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2012-05-16 at 15:17

Dinner disorder: dozens ill after eating at local restaurant

By Leith Dunick,
ENERGY 103 104Play Minute to Win it at 7:20 weekdays mornings with Kaile Jaggard and WIN! on your station for 80’s 90’s and Now…Energy 103 104 Click Here!

A weekend visit Murillo’s This Old Barn restaurant has left 61 people suffering from gastrointestinal illness.

Officials at the Thunder Bay District Health Unit on Wednesday reported several people had to be hospitalized as a result of the outbreak, which left victims suffering from diarrhea, vomiting and nausea.

Public health inspectors are presently investigating the outbreak to determine the cause of the outbreak, and are asking anyone who ate at the restaurant between May 11 and May 13 to contact the Health Unit.

Anyone experiencing symptoms of the outbreak are asked to visit a health-care provider for treatment.

“The operator is working cooperatively with our staff as part of our investigation into the possible causes of the illness,” said Christopher Beveridge, manager of environmental health at TBDHU. “Preliminary results indicate water contaminated with E. coli as a potential cause, but public health inspectors are investigating other possible sources, such as food.”

To speak with a public health inspector, call 625-5930 or file a report at

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We've improved our comment system.
hockeyskates says:
I know the comments will be brutal here, but it was no joke for either those who got sick or the owner who I am sure was very upset. Glad everyone recovered.

5/16/2012 3:33:46 PM
rootbear says:
This can be very very damaging for the business. We'll see how many loyal customers they have. I wonder how often it was inspected by the Health Unit. More often now I'm sure.
5/16/2012 3:53:26 PM
wayne says:
“Preliminary results indicate water contaminated with E. coli as a potential cause, but public health inspectors are investigating other possible sources, such as food.”

If it's not the water, other possible sources may be the food...DUH!

jokes aside, it's gonna be a tough and long time for the operator to regain confidence from the public who frequent the restaurant (it's not open year-round). the restaurant reviews on trip advisor should be interesting in the days ahead. never ate there, but the menu on their web site looks good. not that i will eat there anytime soon.

5/16/2012 4:00:02 PM
ThunderBayFullOfCrime says:
These things happen in this day and age. How many times have bagged salad been recalled, or meat, or pet food?

I feel bad for the owners as well as any of the public involved.
5/16/2012 5:05:55 PM
metisman says:
I have eaten their several times and I am familiar with the owner, who has a lunch location at the Moose Hall on Ft William Rd. He runs a tight ship at both locations and I think that in this case they will find that it was the water that was contaminated, not the food. Regardless, he will face the music when it comes to the general public, those that are not regular customers, and it will take a long time to regain their trust/confidence.
5/16/2012 5:07:10 PM
merryenglish says:
Metisman...Im sure the "owner you are familliar with" will be ever so pleased you identified the location of the lunch location at the moosehall as that of his. Just what he neeeded,not only one patronless restauraunt, but two! Likely he is wishing you had kept your generous act of free advertising to yourself. How insensitive.
5/16/2012 9:47:37 PM
hoping4thebest says:
This can unfortunately happen at ANY restaurant..anytime, anywhere. Here's hoping for a speedy recovery for all of those who were affected!
5/16/2012 5:08:15 PM
merryenglish says:
Scary. Anytime, ANY restaurant, anytime??? Is there a mysterious force contaminating random eateries? Goodness, here I thought such a thing was preventable when people practice proper health guidelines meticulously. Ihope my choice for dinner tonight wasnt hit.
5/16/2012 10:00:52 PM
fiorn says:
sorry, merryenglish, but no prevention in food prep is ever 100% effective. These are microscopic bugs that live in and on all of us at all times (as gross as that is). Policies will be reviewed, staff will be re-trained, and we all will move on. Best wishes to the owner (who I have worked with several times in the past and is a very competent chef and businessman).
5/17/2012 2:06:50 PM
peas08 says:
It is unfortunate for all parties involved. I recently got very ill after eating at an restaraunt here in town. I am sure it happens more often then we think perhaps on a smaller scale and less severe in nature. All the best to those who became ill and also to the business owner who has to pick up the pieces.
5/16/2012 5:13:58 PM
damanisback says:
"THIS OLD BARF" sorry i couldnt let that one go
5/16/2012 6:20:37 PM
tsb says:
We didn't go there because it was too full and ended up going to Kakabeka for Sunday lunch instead. My condolences to everyone who got food poisoning. I had it really bad years ago from McDonalds. I wouldn't wish it on anyone.

This will be a learning experience for the managers, so I wouldn't worry about future visits.
5/16/2012 8:19:13 PM
colleenopaski says:
I must admit, I have only eaten there once, but I totally enjoyed my dining experience. The food was delicious. I would have no problem going there again, even after this unfortunate mishap. :)
5/16/2012 8:35:35 PM
ozone says:
I have eaten here many times. Food is always good, clean establishment good service.

It's an unfortnate incidrnt in ten plus years of solid operations for this restuarant.

Sadly, food borne illness are everywhere in restuarants, produce aisles,prepackaged foods.

I will be back once it opens again with my family. We always have a great time and good food at the Old Barn!
5/16/2012 8:45:10 PM
nvjgu says:
Never catch me drinking well or any other untreated water. Go's to show city tap water is best.
5/16/2012 9:36:42 PM
ohnoyoudidnt says:
DAMN DEER AND TOY R US!!! They must be behind this!! LOL

Im sure there This Old Barn will be fine and business wont be effected. The owners take this very seriously. They arent the type to serve up rotten food. I hope they find answers to what went wrong soon. Now the fast food restarunts around are a differint story..
5/16/2012 10:01:06 PM
benchwarmer says:
This is really unfortunate. The food there is fantastic! I wish everyone the speediest recovery.
5/16/2012 10:47:56 PM
debt collector says:
This place will be the cleanest restaurant in the city after this. I'd eat there again without hesitation.

Best Prime Rib I've ever had!
5/16/2012 11:06:54 PM
Racenut2 says:
I was so sad to hear the news from this past weekend. I had planned to go there for their Mother`s Day Buffet, but was unable to make it. I have been there before for Mother`s Day and a Christmas party and I left there literally stuffed to the rim, because you couldn`t help but overeat. His entrees and desserts are impeccable.

I, for one, hope that what ever the problem was that this will not take away from their business. As many people have already stated it is hard to come back from something like this.

Hopefully this was just from the water and not from any of the food. I`m sure they take all the necessary precautions in the food preparation.

The food that Mike (chef) has prepared for myself and my dining companions has been second-to-none!! He is a top-notch chef that strives for nothing but the best. This has been proven to many patrons over the years.

My family would not hesitate to return to This Old Barn no matter what the problem was!

Wendy Vester
5/17/2012 12:35:08 AM
TBDR says:
I'll still eat there. I've gotten some form of food poisoning at two or three local restaurants over the years. These things can happen.
5/17/2012 2:08:43 AM
codvx87 says:
It's all very sad when businesses go under, especially private; But I'd never go here after I got sick... Infact I'll probably keep a resolve being sure I never visit this place in the future :S sorry bros, keeping it real
5/17/2012 7:48:03 AM
moonpie says:
I don't get how this can be from the water. If water is from a well and being used in a dining establishment it should be boiled prior to use. Even for washing dishes it should be a at a temp high enough to kill bacteria. Well water/tap water should not be used for drinking water so I'd assume they have bottled water.
5/17/2012 9:29:38 AM
cac says:
I doubt if there is a regulation stating that well water used in a dining establishment has to be boiled prior to use. Water from any source can become contaminated and if there is reason to be concerned, a sample should be taken and tested on a regular basis.
5/17/2012 10:21:05 AM
keiths31 says:
Food poisoning is terrible for a restaurant/banquet hall. But it doesn't happen as often as people think. Most people who do get food poisoning get it from unsafe handling of food in their own home (ie: thawing meat in the sink, not washing hands before making a salad, etc). I have a friend who works at the Health Unit, and he states that this is the case more often than not, but people don't want to think that they got themselves sick. In the true cases of food poisoning, there are many, many people who get sick, as in this case.
I hope the operators come back from this and the people who got sick have a speedy recovery.
5/17/2012 10:57:26 AM
tbfriend says:
merryenglish - you have obviously never worked in a restaurant or taken a food safety course - precautions and proper food handling limit the possibility of food born illness - but anything could happen - food could come contaminated from a supplier, might have defrosted on the enroute - anything can happen at any time and affect any eatery - thats a fact
5/17/2012 12:32:16 PM
I'moutahere says:
Food inspection disclosures to the public
Results of food inspection reports are available to the public. To discuss with a Public Health Inspector, please call 625-5930 or toll-free 1-888-294-6630, ext. 5930.

5/18/2012 12:01:04 AM
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