Second Jacksonville restaurant named in meals contamination lawsuit

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A new lawsuit filed this week claims another restaurant in Southside served contaminated basil that made at least one customer sick.

On Tuesday, the national food safety law firm of Ron Simon & Associates filed the first Cyclospora lawsuit against Bazille Café, a restaurant on the second floor of Nordstrom in St. Johns Town Center that served contaminated Mexican basil that was linked to one The national Cyclospora outbreak is said to have sickened 241 people in 11 states.

The lawsuit comes just months after 100 customers of Coopers Hawk Winery and Restaurant claimed they also contracted a food-borne parasite around the same time.

The lawsuit against Bazille Café and the importers and distributors of the contaminated basil is on behalf of Ponte Vedra Beach-based Holly Green-Pellegrini.

Green-Pellegrini told News4Jax that she and her husband ate at the Bazille Café on July 17, including heirloom tomatoes and burrata starters. A week later, she began to develop symptoms.

“The second day [the symptoms] I was in a lot of pain from head to toe, “said Green-Pellegrini.” I have ever had this excruciating pain in my life. Nothing would touch it. “

Green-Pellegrini said she suffered from severe vomiting, diarrhea, and significant weight loss days after eating at the restaurant. Doctors eventually confirmed that she had contracted cyclosporiasis from contaminated food.

State health officials later found she was part of a larger outbreak of multiple patrons who ate contaminated basil at the Bazille Café in Nordstrom, according to her attorney Tony Coveny. Coveny represents clients on both Cooper’s Hawk and Nordstrom’s Cyclospora outbreaks.

“We’ve clearly identified two on-site restaurants and there’s a third we’re investigating where we know people got sick and we believe that in each of those situations the Mexican basil was consumed,” said Coveny. “Our goal in these lawsuits is to protect food from the farm to the table.”

Abby Smith said she ordered a salad from Cooper’s Hawk. Eight days after eating it, she began to feel sick.

“I got flu-like symptoms very quickly, leading to gastrointestinal problems,” said Smith. “I tested again for Cyclospora in August and still had a positive test. I tested it again. It was finally negative about two weeks ago, but I still have symptoms of an angry stomach.

“I want to wake up one day and say that I feel great again because I don’t feel great. It’s a fight.”

A manager at Bazille told News4Jax on Wednesday that she had no comments and referred any questions to corporate headquarters. A company spokesperson did not immediately return a request for comment.

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