Ruminations and recipes from a small kitchen in a big city.

22.1.05

Running a food business? Maybe you'd prefer a career in law.

Sydney Road from Brunswick through to Coburg has maybe a hundred or so restaurants and cafes, Turkish, Lebanese and others.

Alasya Restaurant is the most popular. Many others serve only locals but people flock from all over Melbourne to go to Alasya. It has two branches. It also runs a bakery supplying other restaurants and cafes.

Alasya is at the centre of a food poisoning scare.

The outbreak reportedly occurred between January 9 and 18.

The food poisoning story broke on Tuesday at which time several people had reported ill.

Mr Bekir, the owner of Alasya, which has been trading since 1978, said: "We were devastated, absolutely devastated, all of us. It was disbelief. If it's definitively linked (to the restaurant). All we can do is absolutely, absolutely apologise. This has never, ever happened to us, and you don't want something that happens once to hurt you forever. We've been here so long and served hundreds of thousands of customers."

By Friday, the number of people contacting the health department to report illness had rocketed to four hundred. Some are genuinely ill. There is no argument about that and everyone wishes them a fast recovery. Some are in hospital, 'rushed' there as the newspaper reports.

Some may have remembered they were ill after reading newspaper reports.

The sudden rise in reported illnesses followed Thursday's newspaper report that lawyers Slater and Gordon were talking class action.

The aroma of baking Turkish bread and barbecued kofta wafting over Brunswick has always been irresistible.

Maybe not as irresistible as the smell of money.

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