Sofra wrongly named in salmonella outbreak
POPULAR Toowoomba restaurant Sofra Turkish Cuisine was incorrectly named by Queensland Health for stocking produce that caused a recent outbreak of salmonella anatum cases.
Owner Moyalia Tokmak was devastated when a media alert from Queensland Health released to the public on Friday, listing businesses that stocked contaminated pre-packaged salad, included Sofra Turkish Cuisine.
"At first we were shocked, we couldn't believe it and then we were quite outraged that something like that could be printed especially without any prior knowledge or anything like that. It's a really severe thing to be accused of," she said.
"We just really want to reassure all of our beautiful guests in Toowoomba that Sofra Turkish Cuisine has only ever used locally sourced, beautiful fresh produce."
A Queensland Health spokesperson said the release was amended once Ms Tokmak brought attention to the fault.
He stated: "Residents of Queensland would understand the recent outbreak of salmonella anatum cases in Victoria was an important issue that needed to be communicated with urgency.
Queensland Health received a list of companies and businesses in Queensland on Friday (5 February 2016) that may have received the recalled pre-packed lettuce products grown and distributed by the Victorian-based company Tripod Farmers, which we published.
A restaurant in Toowoomba that was named in this original communique contacted Queensland Health to inform us they only used locally sourced produce, and did not receive any products from the distributor.
Queensland Health immediately updated the original statement.
Food Standards Australia New Zealand advise that independent outlets in Queensland including some Foodworks stores, Aussie Farmers Direct, fruit and vegetable shops, markets and to trade may be affected by the recall."
However, Ms Tokmak isn't turning the experience into a negative one, instead using it to highlight the excellent work from their local produce supplier and thanking the community for their continued support.
For 15 years, kfarm on West St has supplied fresh produce to Ms Tokmak through previous restaurants Karingal Cafe, Bindi Spot and now Sofra Turkish Cuisine.
Kfarm wholesale manager Emlyn Brosnan described Ms Tokmak as a loyal customer.
"We're a local company (who) works closely with the restaurants we supply, we pride ourselves on our quality and freshness," he said.
"The salmonella outbreak is a serious situation, my heart goes out to Sofra Turkish Restaurant for dealing with the incorrect statement.
"This sort of misinformation can badly damage a small business."