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Fig & Olive Says a "Third Party" Is Responsible for Salmonella Outbreak

Fig & Olive's CityCenterDC location. Photograph by Jeff Elkins.

The restaurant chain Fig & Olive denies it was responsible for an outbreak of salmonella at its DC location that the city’s health department said sickened more than 60 people.

Fig & Olive “denies that it was negligent or that its actions caused damage to plaintiff” in regard to several counts in a complaint filed in September by Laura Donahue, an Arlington woman who ate croquettes with truffle oil at the restaurant and was hospitalized.

If plaintiff sustained the injuries and damages alleged,” the New York chain writes in its answer, “said injuries and damages were due to the acts or omissions of a third party over which this defendant had no control.”

The restaurant’s DC location was closed for six days while the DC Department of Health investigated. Fig & Olive’s West Hollywood, California, location was linked to the outbreak later in September. The DC Department of Health and Department of Forensic Sciences told Washingtonian at the time that the Centers for Disease Control had “confirmed that this is now a multiple state investigation tied to Fig and Olive food establishments.”

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Andrew Beaujon joined Washingtonian in late 2014. He was previously with the Poynter Institute, TBD.com, and Washington City Paper. His book A Bigger Field Awaits Us: The Scottish Soccer Team That Fought the Great War was published in 2018. He lives in Del Ray.