AG Nessel Commends Food Establishments for Protecting Customers

Contact: Kelly Rossman-McKinney 517-512-9342
Agency: Attorney General

April 2, 2021

LANSING – Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel today praised the over 40,000 Michigan food service establishments that abide by state law and have adapted to the significant changes required in response to the COVID-19 pandemic as cases in the state surge.   

“Restaurants across Michigan have stepped up to protect their customers and adapt to new requirements in light of the pandemic, and they should be commended,” said Nessel.  “As customers, we expect to frequent restaurants that abide by the law and work to ensure we do not get sick from their establishment.  Whether a person is ordering take-out or dining in, they have a reasonable expectation to not become ill from that experience.”   

In early March, the Allegan County Health Department announced that a customer of Marlena’s Bistro and Pizzeria tested positive for COVID-19 shortly after dining at the location and during a period of time when the customer would have been most contagious.  The announcement was one more development in an ongoing case where the restaurant owner has repeatedly defied the Allegan County Health Department, the Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development, and the courts since November 2020.  A comprehensive timeline of the events is available here.   

Restaurant patrons throughout Michigan benefit from the work of the state’s local health departments in keeping them safe from potential public health threats that may range from foodborne illnesses like norovirus, Salmonella or Hepatitis A, and more.  In addition to typical public health concerns, local health departments also work to protect patrons from exposure to COVID-19.  This is especially significant with COVID-19 cases in Michigan on the rise.  According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Michigan currently has the highest COVID-19 cases per capita in the country

“Heroes are those who make sacrifices to save other people’s lives, not risk them,” said Nessel.  “The individuals working hard to abide by state law in order to protect their employees and patrons are true heroes of the pandemic.” 

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