13 Investigates


Keeping restaurants safe: Is there a flaw in the system? 13 Investigates

Posted at 8:42 PM, Feb 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-17 23:42:16-05

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — 13 Investigates was first to report that a complaint about possible cannabis-contaminated food is what prompted a Southern Nevada Health District inspection at Secret of Siam on Feb. 10. But the eatery remained open for several more days, and more people got sick.

The Health District told us they do not have field tests to see if there are drugs in foods. So, where did the system go wrong?

13 Investigates has a lot of questions with the intent of trying to make sure you know you’re safe when you eat out.

Secret of Siam investigation: Full coverage from 13 Action News

Clearer timeline of events in Secret of Siam investigation

When health inspectors investigated a very specific complaint, THC contamination, did they do enough before deciding the claim wasn’t valid? Does a single complaint rise to the level of taking food samples for testing or even shutting the place down? Does the health district even have the authority to do that?

Here’s what we’ve found out so far: Not much, other than it’s next to impossible to draw a straight line of accountability.

On Thursday, 13 Investigates reached out to nearly every member of the Southern Nevada Board of Health. Chairman of the board, Scott Black, declined to comment, referring back to the Health District.

The Health District says it can’t provide more information because it’s an ongoing investigation. Las Vegas Metropolitan Police say essentially the same thing.

What about the Food and Drug Administration? Does it have a role? Are local health districts required to report cases of suspected drug-tainted food to the feds? At what point do they get involved?

The FDA said they needed more time to answer those questions.

13 Investigates also reached to city councilman Stavros Anthony. Secret of Siam is in his ward. A city spokesperson said he wasn't readily available Thursday, so a potential response from him is pending.

We went higher, sending questions to Gov. Steve Sisolak. His office said the Cannabis Compliance Board is somehow involved.

Every agency involved has stressed this is an extremely rare case.

Our job is to expose any flaws in the system and find out who can get them fixed. We’re not done yet.

Find more in-depth reporting from 13 Investigates at ktnv.com/13-investigates.

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