Twelve teenagers were hospitalized after eating at a Japanese steakhouse in New York to celebrate their friend’s birthday.
According to reports, the girls were celebrating the birthday of Arial Arias’ daughter at Kumo Sushi and Steakhouse on Long Island when they suddenly got sick, along with more than 20 diners.
Other customers said people were vomiting inside and outside the restaurant. “It was traumatic,” Arias told News 12.
“One girl was projectile vomiting. I still didn’t know if it was anxiety. I happened to look over, another girl projectile vomiting,” Arias went on.
The birthday celebrant’s parents believe that the rice caused the symptoms as diners ordered different food, including vegetables, chicken and beef, but rice was included in the dishes.
Other customers who ordered seafood without rice did not suffer from the symptoms.
“We didn’t get sick from the sushi. They all got sick from the hibachi. It was like the opposite of what you would have thought,” Arias told the news outlet.
“It was one other group that was there before us — they were vomiting first in the bathroom,” Arias told Fox News.
“So the girls were telling me they thought that, the lady, [who] was vomiting all over had a stomach virus, and the girls were getting nervous.”
But after enjoying their meal, they started to feel sick.
The possible cause is bacillus cereus, a type of bacteria usually found in uncooked rice. This becomes harmful when cooked rice is left at room temperature and toxins are released, which can result in food poisoning.
Suffolk County health officials have issued 15 alleged violations against the restaurant.
“I’m distraught. I went to take my daughter out for her 13th birthday and celebrate with all of her best friends. I thought this was going to be a joyous thing, and it turned out with them all in the hospital together for the night,” Arias expressed.
The mother is now considering legal action against the restaurant to compensate for the children’s suffering.
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