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What you said about what we said last week

Rarely does Washington City Paper highlight the work of another news outlet here in Chatter, but this week is an exception. Jessica Sidman’s investigation into Fig & Olive’s D.C. outpost, the apparent source of several salmonella infections and subject of an October cover story, continued last week as she revealed that the restaurant served food pre-prepared at a Long Island City, N.Y., commissary and raised its prices following the bacteria outbreak. (Another revelation: Fig & Olive uses Hellmann’s mayo as its aioli base: “‘Ha. So I guess even fancy restaurants use name brand mayo for their aioli,’ the CDC epidemiologist wrote in an email. ‘It was a bit of a surprise!’ her DOH counterpart remarked.”) Sidman gave Fig & Olive representatives several days to respond to the pieces, built on the results of a Freedom of Information Act request to the D.C. Department of Health, but they declined to comment.

The revelations in Sidman’s pieces went national, and Fig & Olive eventually put out a statement that didn’t directly answer many of the allegations. Its president, Greg Galy, then decided to give his first post-scandal interview to the Washington Post’s Tim Carman, a City Paper alum. When Carman asked Galy why he didn’t speak to Sidman, Galy replied, “I don’t think they are a preferable source of information. We definitely prefer talking to you directly as we feel there is a lot more objectivity.” It got better:

Galy: I apologize to our guests for being subjected to any misrepresentation by the media.

Carman: You apologize for what?

Galy: To our guests for being subjected to any misrepresentation by the media.

[…]

Carman: Do you apologize to the people who got sick?

Galy: I apologize to our guests for being subjected to any misrepresentation by the media.

“How not to do PR, restaurant edition,” Ben Pershing, managing editor of National Journal, tweeted of the interview. City Paper still welcomes the opportunity to speak to Galy about Sidman’s pieces.

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