Get out the pitchforks and grapefruits spoons: the masses are ready to riot over news that high-end eatery Fig & Olive has been serving customers frozen, pre-made foods -- but charging prices befitting a farm-to-table concept.
Washington City Paper reports the swanky-ass eatery with eight locations nationwide -- in New York, LA, and Chicago, among others -- served foods prepared in a central commissary in Long Beach, New York, which were subsequently frozen and shipped off nationwide, only to be reheated and served like fresh dishes. Among those items: a $26 risotto dish potentially linked to a bi-coastal outbreak of salmonella.
The report stems from a Freedom of Information Act request submitted by Washington City Paper to the DC Department of Health to investigate the September salmonella outbreak. DOH investigators thus far have not fingered the contaminant, but suspect truffle oil as the main culprit. Officials shuttered the DC outpost because of the outbreak, and it upon reopening, the restaurant removed all truffle-using items from its menu.
Eventually, the Centers for Disease Control launched a multi-state investigation that led to even more surprises about the chain's food preparations. For example, the restaurant's signature truffle oil aioli reportedly used neither raw nor pasteurized eggs -- it simply used Hellman's Mayonnaise, the same stuff sitting next to the ketchup and leftover General Tso's in your refrigerator at home.
Fig & Olive denied culpability for the salmonella outbreak in court documents, blaming a third party. But it never named that third party.
Read the entire report on Washington City Paper -- and check out the full list of menu shortcuts and instructions Fig & Olive used.
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Ryan Craggs is Thrillist's Senior News Editor. He's never eaten at Fig & Olive. But he does enjoy figs and olives. Sometimes even together. Follow him @ryanrcraggs.