Dave's Sushi details steps taken to ensure food safety and regain trust
HomeHome > News > Dave's Sushi details steps taken to ensure food safety and regain trust

Dave's Sushi details steps taken to ensure food safety and regain trust

Jun 13, 2023

BOZEMAN — It's been a little over two weeks since Dave's Sushi reopened after being shut down by the health department.

On Friday, Dave's invited MTN in to show us what they're doing to ensure their food is safe. Operating Manager Noah Corwin says the restaurant doesn't take what happened in April lightly.

"We're so grateful to be serving our community again. Our staff here at Dave's, we’re cooks—we nurture people. We're passionate about caring for people," says Corwin. "What occurred in April is an unthinkable tragedy, and we are all so beside ourselves to think that people could have gotten sick and died as a result of what they ate at Dave's Sushi, regardless, and no matter the circumstances."

The reopening of Dave's Sushi comes after the Gallatin City-County Health Department began investigating a foodborne illness outbreak that left 50 people sick and two dead in April.

Although a specific toxin or pathogen has not been confirmed, the investigation determined that the morel mushrooms in the special roll served at Dave's on April 17 were likely the cause of the outbreak and deaths.

Corwin says, "While doubling down on all of our health and safety measures in the restaurant, we’ve made sure that we will never have morel mushrooms in Dave's Sushi again. We have canceled our contract with our purveyor for those mushrooms and will never serve them again."

Corwin says the health department comes to inspect the restaurant every few days, and staff understands why there is such a close eye being kept.

"We understand the scrutiny that we're under from the health department and in the public eye, given the severity of what occurred here in April," says Corwin. "We welcome the health department's scrutiny and public scrutiny as we make Dave's the safest place possible."

These safety measures include keeping the fish and other food products at exactly the right temperature.

"We've changed the way that we temper food items," says Corwin. "Before we used to temper coolers every four hours using a laser thermometer, which was industry standard, and we had temperature logs of those temperatures. Now we use digital probe thermometers, and instead of temping the air in the refrigeration units, we temp the actual food."

Following a health inspection on May 5, Dave's was cited with three more violations, one that included a wastewater pipe in the basement above a food prep area. Corwin assures this pipe is nothing to worry about and that it is a standard PVC pipe that can be found in many other establishments and restaurants around Gallatin County.

"They've inspected us routinely, roughly once a year since then, and have not had an issue with the pipes. Before reopening, they requested that we test or shield the pipes so that in the case, if there ever was leakage, there would be a secondary layer to protect the food service area, and we completely understand and support the spirit of that request." Corwin says.

He continues, "Because we are under such scrutiny with the health department and they're inspecting us every two to three days, every time they now come into the restaurant, that wastewater pipe gets noted as an item for repair and a repeat violation. What's important to note is that the wastewater pipe is not leaking. The wastewater pipe has never leaked, and the wastewater pipe is in excellent condition, as it has been for the past ten years."

Corwin says the community's response to the restaurant reopening is mixed, but they’re ready to work hard to gain everyone's trust back.

"We've received an incredible amount of support from our community. We're so grateful for that," says Corwin. "We also understand that some people are hesitant to come back into Dave's, and we understand that we need to gain their trust back. One day at a time."