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Fireside Grille Wedding Food Poisoning – 51 Sickened

Posted in Our Blog,Outbreaks & Recalls on June 23, 2023

It is the day most women dream of. Their perfect wedding day. The right flowers. The perfect dress. Amazing food. But sadly a Des Moines bride’s wedding is in shambles after her caterer, Fireside Grille, gave her, her new groom, and her guests more than a meal. Instead of favors, her guests went home with food poisoning. Here is everything we know about this Fireside Grille Wedding Food Poisoning outbreak:

51 Sick Guests, and Sick Newly Weds

Lindsey Graham-Humphreys told the Des Moines Register this week that she and her new husband got sick the morning after her wedding. She soon learned of others who were also sick. Eventually, she found that 51 people had fallen ill — some for two days or more. The common meal was her wedding feast served by Fireside Grille, 523 Eighth St. S.E. in Altoona, at her wedding earlier in June.

The bride did her homework when she went to choose a caterer for her wedding. She met with them, had a tasting, and talked with the owner. “He seemed like a nice guy,” she said. “We ordered a bunch of options for our food, he told us the price and we were really amazed how affordable it was … so we decided to go with them.”

On the day of the wedding, Graham-Humphreys said that the caterers showed up six hours early, though she’s not sure why. When it was time to eat, the food was lukewarm, she said.

The Bride Calls the Caterer – No Concerns Given

FIRESIDE GRILLE in Altoona catered my wedding earlier this month. 51 of my guests started having food poisoning symptoms around the same time early the next morning, some having symptoms lasting 48 hours or longer. Everyone that got sick had a few things in common, they ate the food from Fireside Grille and they all got sick around the same time.

I called the Fireside Grille manager immediately after realizing that a lot of my guests were having these issues. I felt the manager had no concern for the fact that so many people became ill, and tried to find blame in it being caused by something else.

I then called the Iowa Health Department to have this investigated. They did an investigation into the Fireside Grille restaurant and found 5 violations, one of them being that they had meat stored at 44.7 degrees F. Any meat stored at a temperature higher than 40 degrees F. Can grow bacteria rapidly, causing illness. (This is all public information, btw)

I’m writing this review to warn people, because I feel Fireside Grille won’t take any accountability and it could happen again.

The Bride Contacts the Health Department

When Fireside Grille refused to listen, she contacted the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals.

The agency cited five violations, including that pork tenderloins were stored at 44.7 degrees Fahrenheit (7.1 degrees Celsius). The state requires meat to be stored at 41 degrees Fahrenheit (5 degrees Celsius). Tomatoes also were stored at a temperature higher than required, the inspection found.

Other violations included a problem with the dishwasher machine, a missing menu detail about consuming raw or undercooked food, an empty soap pump at a hand washing station, and mold inside of the ice machine. All items were corrected on site, according to the report.

Inspection Violations: 6/12/2023

FIRESIDE GRILLE 523 8TH SE ST ALTOONA, IA 50009 515-967-8122

3-501.16(A)(2) Explain Code 

Code Explanation

PHF/TCS foods maintained at 41°F or below, except during preparation, cooling, cooling, or when time is used as a public health control
Inspector Comments
–Observation: Pork tenderloin on main cooks line stored at 44.7 degrees F, diced tomatoes observed stored at 45.6 degrees F. Corrected by: Manager voluntarily discarded the pork and diced tomatoes.

3-603.11 Explain Code 

Code Explanation

Disclosure of menu items offered or served raw or undercooked
Inspector Comments
–Observation: Menu did not indicate which items could be served raw or undercooked. Corrected by: Manager placed indicator on all menus of which items would be served raw or undercooked.

4-501.114 (A-E)(F)(1)&(2) Explain Code 

Code Explanation

Manual and mechanical warewashing equipment, chemical sanitation – temp, pH, concentration, and hardness
Inspector Comments
–Observation: Establishments low temperature dish machine was measured at 0 ppm at the time of inspection. Corrected by: Manager replaced chlorine sanitizer and was able to get machine to test at 100 ppm.

4-601.11(A) Explain Code 

Code Explanation

equipment food contact surfaces and utensils clean to sight and touch.
Inspector Comments
–Observation: Ice machine has a build up of what appears to be mold in the interior of the ice bin. Corrected by: Manager cleaned and sanitized the ice machine.

6-301.11 Explain Code 

Code Explanation

Handwashing cleanser, availability

“I was glad there was actual proof to be shown of it,” Graham-Humphreys said. “It makes me look like I’m making less assumptions and I actually know that it was them.”

Investigators also found two violations at Fireside Grille on Nov. 2, including that the restaurant was storing buttermilk for breading at 63 degrees. The food was discarded, according to the report.

The Fallout – The Bride Hopes to Spare Others

The bride went on Facebook and told wedding groups in hopes of warning other brides. “I wanted to make sure that they all knew not to use this person because it could happen to them,” she said.

“I just felt like something was taken away from me,” she added. “It was a really bad feeling and I just didn’t want it to happen to anyone else.”


The Lange Law Firm Is Here To Help 

We hope you never need us.  But when you do, we’re here to help.

Our mission is to help families who have been harmed by food poisoning.  When corporations cause food poisoning outbreaks, we use the law to hold them accountable.

The Lange Law Firm, PLLC is the only law firm in the nation solely focused on representing families in food poisoning lawsuits and contaminated water lawsuits.

If you are interested in making a legal claim for compensation, we are here and ready to help you.  Call us for a free no obligation legal consultation at (833) 330-3663 or send us an e-mail here.