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Dave's Sushi welcoming customers again, morel mushrooms off the menu

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Posted at 4:54 PM, May 26, 2023

After being closed for more than a month, Dave's Sushi in Downtown Bozeman is open.

On Thursday, May 25, Dave's Sushi opened to the public after receiving final approval from the Gallatin City-County Health Department. According to the Health Department, the restaurant was closed in mid-April due to a foodborne illness outbreak resulting in 50 people becoming ill after eating at Dave's and two deaths.

The health department says morel mushrooms, which Dave's says had been FDA inspected, are the likely cause of the outbreak, although they are still waiting for toxicology and autopsy reports.

So far, two lawsuits have been filed against Dave's.

During lunchtime Friday, May 26, several tables were occupied with customers eating at the restaurant and showing support for Dave's.

One of those customers, Darren Brady said he is "Very happy that Dave's is reopened, yes. So, we've been here a lot, we like going there and it's a great place. It's unfortunate, but you know, things happen, and I don't see it happening again."

Michael Rabb with the Rabb Law Firm who is representing the family of Donna Ventura, the Belgrade woman who became ill and later died after eating at Dave's, sent a letter to the Health Department raising concerns about allowing Dave's to reopen. The letter read:

"Given that deaths in the community occurred, permitting a facility to reopen without first concluding the investigation or determining the manner and cause of deaths is dangerous, premature, and appears to prioritize business revenue over safety."

A preopening inspection was performed on May 25, 2023. It found four minor violations that, according to the Health Department website, were corrected. A previous preopening inspection mentions upgrades to be made to a wastewater line.

Dave's has said it is no longer serving morel mushrooms and feels confident in reopening safely.

Dave's produced a video with the current and former owners of the restaurant.

An FDA report recently released talks about the dangers of morel mushrooms.