A restaurant in Saint-Quentin permanently closes its doors after collective intoxication

At the beginning of August, the firefighters intervened in the restaurant l’Arganier d’Or in Saint-Quentin when around twenty people complained of nausea and vomiting. Under the influence of a prefectural closing order, the owner filed for bankruptcy.

L’Arganier d’Or is definitely closing its doors. This restaurant on rue Raspail in Saint-Quentin made headlines on August 5th. Taken from nausea and / or vomiting, about twenty people who had lunch in the establishment were transported to the hospital, including one in serious condition.

The food poisoning hypothesis was then most likely after carbon monoxide tests came back negative. A hypothesis confirmed by the Regional Health Agency (ARS) and the Departmental Directorate for the Protection of Populations (DDPP).

Contacted by France 3, the Prefecture of Aisne indicates: “Sfollowing the intervention of inspectors from the DDPPthe same day of the Tiac (Toxic infection collective food) in this restaurant, 8 samples for microbiological analyzes were taken from the various foodstuffs served at lunch, which consisted in particular of a starter based on potato salad and couscous.

On 5 samples, the presence of Bacillus cereus was found and on one sample Escherichia coli, in more or less significant quantity, potato salad being the most contaminated foodstuff.

Bacillus cereus is an environmental bacterium that mainly contaminates vegetables, potatoes, rice, spices. Under certain conditions, it produces toxins: toxin emitting (which causes vomiting) and toxin diarrheal. The first symptoms may appear two hours after consumption.

According to the Aisne Prefecture, “the restaurant was known unfavorably by the DDPP since a formal notice had been initiated last June in view of poor hygiene practices (dirty premises and equipment in particular). Training in good hygiene practices had also been ordered for the manager“.

When the restaurant was last inspected on August 5, “it was again noted the absence of cleaning“. Since then, the establishment has been subject to a prefectural closure order.

For the manager of the establishment Brahim Azharthere were really only two really sick people. The others vomited, because they saw the others vomit. Even I felt nauseous. In the emergency room, they didn’t do an exam“, he told us on the phone. On August 5, the firefighters actually had us indicated that only one person, a 62-year-old woman in a state of absolute emergency, had carried out a medical examination, confirming food poisoning concerning her. Brahim Azhar puts also highlighted the fact that a waitress, having eaten nothing at the restaurant that day, was also ill.

Despite the results of the ARS investigation, the manager of l’Arganier d’Or is convinced that the bacteria implicated in this Tiac comes from water:The agglomeration of Saint-Quentin carried out works in the street, in front of my establishment, a week before. They sent me a technician to check 15 days later. But after 15 days, the bacteria is gone, the technician should have been sent directly“, he berates.

Contacted, the town hall of Saint-Quentin confirms that work has been carried out in the street, but refutes any problem related to water:At the level of our studies on water, we had the results of the bacteriological controls carried out by the ARS. And the results comply with regulatory requirements“, indicates the mayor’s office, especially since the work carried out Rue Raspailhad nothing to do with water,he City was carrying out geotechnical surveys of the basement.

Brahim Azhar also disputes the results of the investigation of the DDPPswearing that his restaurant meets hygiene standards:

I only work with fresh products. I had a hygiene check a few months before the story, and I got the satisfaction document. If it was already bad, they could have closed the restaurant at that time.

Brahim Azhar, manager of the Arganier d’Or

Website Foodtrust – to consult the results of official controls carried out in terms of food safety – effectively indicates a satisfactory level of hygiene as of June 1, 2022.

To reopen, the manager of the establishment just has to comply with the health requirements of the DDPP. But, dejected by this affair, Brahim Azhar chose to file for bankruptcy:With the comments I got and the bad publicity, I’m too ashamed. People will not come back, they will only remember this case of intoxication.

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