Kumo Japanese Steakhouse in Stony Brook was cited for 15 violations after dozens of people got sick from eating rice Saturday at the restaurant, a Suffolk County spokesperson confirmed.
Centereach resident Arial Arias, the mother of one of the victims, spoke to News 12’s Virginia Hue on Sunday about the ordeal.
Arias said she took her daughter and 10 of her friends to the restaurant to celebrate her 13th birthday. Just 15 minutes after the girls ate fried rice and chicken, she said they became violently ill.
“It was traumatic,” she said. “One girl was projectile vomiting. I still didn't know if it was anxiety. I happened to look over, another girl projectile vomiting."
Shortly after, several 911 calls were made around 4 p.m. alerting first responders.
A Suffolk County spokesperson said a total of 28 people reported getting sick. Twelve of them went to were rushed to Stony Brook University Hospital for treatment and were discharged.
The county said the incident was a result of the restaurant mishandling and improperly storing cooked rice. Out of the 15 violations issued against Kumo Japanese Steakhouse, eight were for risk factors for food-borne illness.
Arias said all 11 girls in her daughter’s party were at the hospital and are now recovering at home.
“I’m distraught. I went to take my daughter out for her 13th birthday and celebrate with all of her best friends. I thought this was going to be a joyous thing, and it turned out with them all in the hospital together for the night,” she said.