Minister Patricia Gómez has told parliament's health committee that the Palma restaurant at the centre of the foodborne illness outbreak last month had not been inspected for four years until there was an inspection in June.
Regulations allow such a period between inspections, she explained to the committee on Wednesday, adding that when the government became aware of the outbreak, it acted "rapidly and effectively".
Gómez said that deficiencies had been found at the Dragon Sushi restaurant in June. These were remedied. She then went on to restate the timeline of events last month. The health ministry became aware of the outbreak on the 24th. The first suspicion came via the 061 emergency ambulance service, and the next day the restaurant was closed as a precautionary measure.
The minister stressed that all available information about the outbreak was made public and congratulated staff at Son Espases and Son Llàtzer hospitals who dealt with cases with great efficiency. Gómez confirmed that 102 people were affected and that 43 of them were positive for salmonella poisoning. In 2018, she noted, there were eight salmonella outbreaks in the Balearics. Last year, 93 establishments were closed because of serious food safety defects.
Marga Durán of the Partido Popular advised the minister that her party will be requesting a copy of all documentation related to the August outbreak and will want to see the report regarding the June inspection.