Health Officials Investigating After At Least 10 Buffalo Wild Wings Customers Become Ill

There are few things better than digging into a basket of wings on Super Bowl Sunday. But recent reports of Buffalo Wild Wings customers becoming ill after dining at a restaurant in Kansas might be enough to cause some wing-lovers to step away from the saucy drumsticks, or at least cause the stock for the chain eatery to tumble. 

The Kansas City Star reports that at least 10 people have reported becoming sick with gastrointestinal illness after eating at an Overland Park Buffalo Wild Wings location last week.

The Johnson County Department of Health and Environment says it began receiving reports on Jan. 29 of people, including several area high school students, who became ill with diarrhea and vomiting the day before.

For now, the cause and source of the issue haven’t been determined, but county health officials say they are awaiting results of lab tests that could identify the illness.

The Johnson County Health Department says it is working on the investigation with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, the Department of Agriculture, and the city of Overland Park.

Shortly after the illnesses were reported, the Dept. of Agriculture inspected the restaurant and found 17 violations. Most of those issues, which included boxed napkins stored in a restroom and bottles of liquor containing small dead insects, were fixed during the inspection, the KC Star reports.

Buffalo Wild Wings subsequently closed the restaurant for a day to conduct a “thorough cleaning.”

“We take food safety very seriously, and following a report Saturday of potential illness by the health department, we decided to close the Overland Park restaurant to allow for a third-party vendor to conduct a thorough cleaning,” a spokeswoman for the company said in a statement.

The company cautioned that it took action voluntarily, as there currently is no conclusive link between the restaurant and the reported illnesses.

Still, news of the illnesses Wednesday caused Buffalo Wild Wings stock to fall by as much as 7.8% to $138.31, Bloomberg reports.

Illness strikes customers of Buffalo Wild Wings on 105th Street in Overland Park [Kansas City Star]
Buffalo Wild Wings Tumbles on Report of Illnesses in Kansas [Bloomberg]