Two patrons of a Los Angeles restaurant billed on its website as serving the best Mexican food in Los Angeles are suing the eatery because they allegedly contracted salmonella poisoning after dining there in March.
Tamara Treglia Tayarani and Margaret Howard filed the lawsuit Thursday in Los Angeles Superior Court against Don Antonio’s, a West Pico Boulevard establishment that began serving “authentic Mexican cuisine” in 1982, its website says.
The suit alleges strict product liability, negligence, breach of the implied warranty of merchantability and negligent infliction of emotional distress. The plaintiffs seek unspecified damages.
A Don Antonio’s representative could not be immediately reached.
Tavarani ate salsa, chips, beef taquitos, rice, water and soda at Don Antonio’s on March 19, the suit states. Four days later, she began experiencing nausea, diarrhea, stomach cramps, a fever and other symptoms, the suit states.
Doctors at UCLA confirmed Tavarani had a salmonella infection, the suit states.
Howard dined with Tavarani and consumed a cheese enchilada and beans as well as some chips and salsa that she and Tavarani shared, the suit states. She became sick two days later with nausea and fatigue, according to the lawsuit.
Howard went to see a doctor after she “could no longer stand feeling miserable,” the suit states. She also was diagnosed with a salmonella infection, the suit states.
Howard lost seven pounds due to a loss in appetite and both she and Tavarani continue to have salmonella poisoning symptoms, the suit states.
The suit states that county Department of Health officials visited Don Antonio’s on March 25 after receiving at least 11 reports of salmonella poisoning. The inspection turned up multiple food safety violations, including the use of unapproved equipment and utensils, potentially hazardous food stored at improper holding temperatures, improperly sanitized food contact surfaces and improper use and storage of wiping cloths used to clean service counters, scales and other surfaces on which food is placed, the suit alleges.
“The restaurant manager was advised of the violations and instructed to correct all violations immediately,” according to the lawsuit.
Salmonella bacteria typically is transmitted to humans who eat food contaminated with human or animal feces, the suit states. The food looks and smells normal, according to the lawsuit.