Hard to tell whether it's the restaurant or the Department of Public Health that comes out looking worse in this New York Times/Bay Citizen piece about a food poisoning incident at the Mission's well-loved Delfina. First off, twelve people all fell ill after a private party at the restaurant. (Twelve! All from the same party! Barf!) What's more: the San Francisco Department of Public Health didn't even know about it until the reporter brought it up. (Double barf!)
For their part, Delfina was able to track down the offending foodstuff: and it wasn't their oysters or beef tartar. A vegetarian at the party also got sick, leading the restaurant to pin the blame on some tainted salad greens. Delfina (who the article notes has always passed their health inspections) did the right thing by reaching out to their produce suppliers about the bad greens. Unfortunately, the buck stopped there because apparently there's no law that says the Health Department needs to be alerted when a dozen people leave the same restaurant with food poisoning. Alerts like that are only necessary if employees of the restaurant get sick. So that's a kind of gross thing to know.
From there the article goes a little off course to question why DPH is cracking down on ForageSF, even though no one has ever gotten sick at any of their Wild Marketplace events or their private catered dinners. Which is definitely a valid point — the health department should probably be spending more time looking in to incidents where twelve people got sick instead of hassling an enterprising young foodie who just likes to gather greens in the Presidio. But also, maybe a more immediate problem: Is no one worried that there is tainted salad all over town?
The city's DPH director did explain that it's rare to have an unreported case where so many fell ill at the same time, and the department is currently looking in to the situation. Their next step as a public health organization is obviously to suggest stricter rules for reporting outbreaks like this.
In other news, Delfina was recently featured in Sunset magazine for Chef Craig Stoll's tagliatelle with nettle and pine nut sauce recipe. And there's also, there's a pretty huge spoiler for Contagion in NYT article. So, be advised if you're still waiting for that one to hit Netflix Instant.