Nearly four months after hundreds of patrons of the upscale Mediterranean restaurant were infected by salmonella, Fig & Olive president Greg Galy has finally apologized to diners for the outbreak of reports on the matter by Jessica Sidman of Washington City Paper. “I apologize to our guests for being subjected to any misrepresentation by the media,” Galy repeatedly told the Washington Post on Friday as he sought to make things right for sick diners who have been forced to endure ongoing media coverage of the restaurant that poisoned them with potentially lethal bacteria.
Sidman’s reporting has proven to be highly contagious and difficult to contain, getting cited by the Washington Post and other media outlets and circulating widely around Washington and beyond. At this point, it’s impossible to say how many have been exposed to Sidman’s articles, but Galy alleges that many of his diners suffer from “extreme fatigue” and “severe abdominal pain” every time they read one of her reports and think about eating at Fig & Olive.
Galy’s heartfelt apology to victims of Sidman’s journalism comes on the heels of another Sidman report detailing how Fig & Olive relied on pre-made meal components from a commissary in New York. Galy expressed regret that Sidman would file a Freedom of Information Act request with the DC Department of Health to obtain facts about how his restaurant operates, citing the action as an example of her lack of objectivity. After the initial outbreak of reports about the salmonella infections and the subsequent articles about those suing the restaurant, Galy believes it was irresponsible to subject his customers to further descriptions of how Fig & Olive ships frozen food from Long Island and reheats it before serving, or how it uses Hellman’s mayonnaise in it’s truffle olive oil aioli.
At press time, Galy was once again raising the restaurant’s prices in response to bad press and was preparing to apologize for the fact that Sidman had forced him to do so.