Food poisoning outbreak at Dave’s Sushi in Bozeman sickens 30; morel mushrooms possible culprit

Isabel Hicks Bozeman Daily Chronicle

At least 30 people have been tied to a foodborne illness outbreak after eating at Dave’s Sushi in Bozeman in April, the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services said Wednesday.

The outbreak is associated with eating at Dave’s Sushi between March 31 and April 17. According to a health department release, three individuals had severe outcomes, including hospitalizations.

Two people died after eating at the restaurant: Donna Ventura, 64, of Belgrade, and William Lewis, 74, of Townsend. Their causes of death are pending until autopsy and toxicology results are available.

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A preliminary investigation found that morel mushrooms were likely the exposure of concern, and that the morels served at the restaurant were not distributed to any other restaurants or businesses in Montana.

The mushrooms were cultivated in China and shipped to a California distributor, then sent to multiple other states, according to the release. There were no other known illnesses associated with the morels as of Monday.

Still, the pathogen or toxin hasn’t been officially identified, and state and federal partners continue to test clinical and food samples, the release said.

The Montana DPHHS

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