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Public Health - Seattle & King County

Foodborne illness outbreak investigation summary

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663 Bistro (Seattle) Updated April 27, 2016 at 4:40 pm

Public Health is investigating an outbreak of salmonellosis (caused by Salmonella bacteria) associated with 663 Bistro, 663 S Weller S, Seattle 98104. As of 4/27/16 four people from three separate meal parties became ill after eating at the restaurant between 3/11/16 and 4/08/16; one of the ill persons was hospitalized.

Laboratory testing has indicated that three of the cases are infected with the same strain of Salmonella bacteria, called Salmonella braenderup. In typical years, fewer than five cases of this strain are reported in King County.

Public Health received the first report of illness on 3/28/16. The second case was reported on 4/7/16, and the common restaurant exposure was identified during a case interview on 4/8/16. The most recent case was reported on 4/19/16. Public Health performed a field investigation of the restaurant on 4/12/16, which resulted in temporary closure of the facility. The decision to suspend the restaurant's permit was based on observation of repeat improper food handling practices. The restaurant was permitted to re-open on 4/14/16, a second closure occurred after re-inspection on 4/26/16 because of continued repeat violations. The establishment was reopened on 4/27/2016 after passing a re-inspection. Environmental Health investigators will continue to work with the restaurant owners and employees on maintaining safe food handling practices.

About salmonellosis:

Salmonellosis is a bacterial infection that is often spread through the fecal-oral route, through contaminated food and water, or through contact with animals and their environments. Symptoms of salmonellosis include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, fever, chills, and abdominal cramping. Illness typically lasts several days and people can spread infection to others even after symptoms resolve.

To prevent Salmonella infection:

  • Wash hands with soap and water after going to the bathroom, changing diapers, touching animals, and before eating or preparing food.
  • Cook all meats thoroughly, especially poultry.
  • Wash cutting boards and counters used for meat or poultry preparation immediately after use to avoid cross contaminating other foods.

For more information about salmonellosis, see:

About S. braenderup:

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Chili's South Indian Cuisine (Seattle) Updated April 26, 2016 at 5:05 pm

Public Health investigated an outbreak of salmonellosis (caused by Salmonella bacteria) associated with Chili's South Indian Cuisine at 4220 University Way NE in Seattle. Two people from separate meal parties became ill with diarrhea after eating at the restaurant between 12/27/15 and 1/06/16; there were no hospitalizations.

Laboratory testing has indicated that both of the people with lab-confirmed infection had the same strain of Salmonella bacteria. In typical years, fewer than ten infections with this strain are reported in King County.

Public Health received the first report of illness on 1/07/16. The second illness was reported on 1/15/16, and the common restaurant exposure was identified during a case interview on 1/28/16. Public Health performed a field investigation of the restaurant on 2/2/16. Although there were no recent reports of employee illness, our food safety experts requested testing of all employees who had recently traveled outside of the country. Additionally, testing was performed on spices that had been imported from India, because review of nationwide data on this strain suggested a pattern of consumption of Indian foods. Salmonella bacteria were not detected in the restaurant employees or any of the spices tested. The restaurant worked cooperatively with Public Health. Several weeks have passed and Public Health has received no additional reports of illness associated with Chili’s. There is no indication of ongoing risk at this time.

About salmonellosis:

Salmonellosis is a bacterial infection that is often spread through the fecal-oral route, through contaminated food and water, or through contact with animals and their environments. Symptoms of salmonellosis include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, fever, chills, and abdominal cramping. Illness typically lasts several days and people can spread infection to others even after symptoms resolve.

To prevent Salmonella infection:

  • Wash hands with soap and water after going to the bathroom, changing diapers, touching animals, and before eating or preparing food.
  • Cook all meats thoroughly, especially poultry.
  • Wash cutting boards and counters used for meat or poultry preparation immediately after use to avoid cross contaminating other foods.

For more information about salmonellosis, see:

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Stanford's Restaurant & Bar (Tukwila) Updated March 15, 2016 at 2:35 pm

Public Health investigated an outbreak of gastroenteritis with nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and cramps associated with Stanford's Restaurant & Bar, 17380 Southcenter Parkway, Tukwila 98188. Two people from separate meal parties became ill after eating at the restaurant between 2/14/16 and 2/18/16; neither were hospitalized. Symptoms and timing of illness onset suggested that the cause of the illness was a bacterial toxin. No tests were done with the two ill people to confirm which pathogen caused the illness: bacterial toxin illnesses are typically short-lived and by the time people seek care – if they do at all – it has been too long from exposure to test. Commonly consumed food items that may have caused the illnesses include dishes containing meat, which is frequently associated with the bacterial toxins in question.

Public Health received the first report of illness 2/16/16. On 2/19/16, a second person reported becoming ill from the same venue. Public Health performed a field investigation of the restaurant on 2/26/16. During this investigation, inspectors ensured that no suspect food remained in the restaurant. Inspectors also identified factors that may have contributed to this foodborne illness outbreak, including room temperature storage of potentially hazardous food, inadequate hand washing, & cross contamination. A return inspection on 3/3/16 found that all violations were corrected.

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El Camion 3 food truck (Seattle) Updated March 10, 2016 at 2:00 pm

Public Health is investigating an outbreak of gastroenteritis with vomiting, diarrhea, aches and cramps associated with El Camion 3, a food truck that operates at 5314 15th Ave NW, in Seattle. Two people from separate meal parties became ill after eating at the food truck between 2/29/16-3/7/16; neither was hospitalized. Symptoms and timing of illness onset are suggestive of a bacterial toxin from Staphylococcus aureus ("Staph") or Clostridium perfringens. No tests were done with the two ill people to confirm which pathogen caused the illness: bacterial toxin illnesses are typically short-lived and by the time people seek care – if they do at all – it is too far from exposure to test. Commonly consumed food items that may have caused the illnesses include carne asada, and raw vegetables such as lettuce and tomatoes.

Public Health received the first report of illness 3/1/16. On 3/8/16, a second person reported becoming ill from the same venue. Public Health performed a field investigation of the food truck and its commissary on 3/9/16. During this investigation, inspectors identified factors that may have contributed to this foodborne illness outbreak, including improper cooling and room temperature storage of potentially hazardous food. Given these and other repeated violations, Public Health has suspended the food truck’s permit and destroyed potentially hazardous foods that had been temperature abused. Though Public Health does not permit commissaries for mobile food vehicles directly, when a mobile vendor’s permit is suspended, its entire operation must close until approved to re-open by Public Health. El Camion also operates a brick-and-mortar restaurant located at 6416 15th Ave. NW. This location has not been implicated in the outbreak, but has decided to close on its own.

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Small Frye's (Fall City) Updated March 3, 2016 at 3:00 pm

Public Health is investigating an outbreak of gastroenteritis with vomiting, nausea and diarrhea associated with Small Frye's restaurant located at 4225 Preston Fall City Road SE, Fall City, WA. As many as 4 people became ill after eating at the restaurant on 2/18/16. Public Health learned of the outbreak on 3/1/16.

We do not have laboratory confirmation of the etiology, but symptoms are suggestive of norovirus. Often in norovirus outbreaks no laboratory testing is done. The exact food item that caused the illnesses has not yet been identified, though this is not uncommon for outbreaks of norovirus when multiple food items may be contaminated.

The restaurant is working cooperatively with Public Health. After a field inspection, we identified several factors that could have contributed to this outbreak, including an ill food worker on the premises, inadequate handwashing, and inadequate handwashing facilities. In response, we have suspended the restaurant’s permit so that they may correct these issues, decontaminate the facility, and exclude the ill food worker from the operation.

About norovirus:

Norovirus is a highly contagious virus that is frequently spread person-to-person and is often associated with food. Learn more about norovirus at Public Health's website. Norovirus illness often has a sudden onset of nausea and vomiting and/or watery diarrhea with cramps. A low grade fever, chills, and body aches sometimes occur. Norovirus rarely causes severe complications. Dehydration is the most common complication, particularly among young children and the elderly. No vaccine is available for norovirus. Anyone with norovirus symptoms should wait at least 48 hours after their last episode of vomiting and/or diarrhea before preparing food for others. Wash hands with soap and water after using the toilet or changing diapers, and before preparing food or eating. Because raw seafood can be contaminated with Norovirus, always cook shellfish and other seafood thoroughly before eating.

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Puerto Vallarta restaurant (Federal Way) Updated February 10, 2016 at 11:00 am

Public Health investigated an outbreak of gastroenteritis with vomiting and diarrhea associated with Puerto Vallarta restaurant located at 35105 Enchanted Pkwy S, #103, Federal Way. As many as 8 people became ill after eating at the restaurant on 1/30/16. We do not have laboratory confirmation of the etiology, but symptoms are suggestive of norovirus. Often in norovirus outbreaks no laboratory testing is done. Public Health learned of the outbreak late on Tuesday, 2/2. The restaurant worked cooperatively with Public Health, and we have discussed norovirus control measures with the person in charge. Public Health has not received any additional illness reports.

Public Health learned of the outbreak late on Tuesday, 2/2. The restaurant is working cooperatively with Public Health, and we have discussed norovirus control measures with person in charge. Public Health staff will be conducting interviews of ill persons. People who are ill with vomiting or diarrhea for more than 3 days, or who have signs of serious illness like bloody diarrhea should see a health care provider.

About norovirus:

Norovirus is a highly contagious virus that is frequently spread person-to-person and is often associated with food. Learn more about norovirus at Public Health's website. Norovirus illness often has a sudden onset of nausea and vomiting and/or watery diarrhea with cramps. A low grade fever, chills, and body aches sometimes occur. Norovirus rarely causes severe complications. Dehydration is the most common complication, particularly among young children and the elderly. No vaccine is available for norovirus. Anyone with norovirus symptoms should wait at least 48 hours after their last episode of vomiting and/or diarrhea before preparing food for others. Wash hands with soap and water after using the toilet or changing diapers, and before preparing food or eating. Because raw seafood can be contaminated with Norovirus, always cook shellfish and other seafood thoroughly before eating.

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Green Leaf Vietnamese Restaurant (Seattle) Updated February 3, 2016 at 4:12 pm

Public Health recently investigated two illnesses associated with Green Leaf Vietnamese Restaurant located at 418 8th Avenue South in Seattle. Two people (both male) ate at the restaurant on 1/18/16 and became ill with gastrointestinal symptoms, fever and headache on 1/19/16; neither were hospitalized. Symptoms and timing of illness onset were consistent with the diarrheal form of Bacillus cereus or Clostridium perfringens. The food source that led to these illnesses is unknown, but both people ate dishes containing meat, which is a frequent vehicle for bacterial toxins such as B. cereus or C. perfringens. No tests were done with the two ill people to confirm which pathogen caused the illness: Bacterial toxin illnesses are typically short-lived and by the time people seek care – if they do at all – it is too far from exposure to test.

Public Health learned of the outbreak on 1/19/16. No other illnesses associated with this restaurant have been reported since then. An investigation of the restaurant found several problems including improper cooling, inadequate cold-holding, and inadequate temperature monitoring of foods that are potentially hazardous. Inspectors held an administrative hearing with restaurant management which included a review of proper cooking, cooling, and food storage. Inspectors will return to the restaurant to follow up on these procedures.

B. cereus and C. perfringens are both bacteria that grow rapidly at room temperature. When cooking potentially hazardous foods, it's important to keep food out of the danger zone, which is 41 to 135 degrees Fahrenheit by serving while the food is still hot, refrigerating quickly after cooking, or holding at a minimum of 135 degrees.

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Maggiano's Little Italy (Bellevue) Updated February 9, 2016 at 5:07 pm - Final report. We do not anticipate any more updates to this summary

Public Health investigated an outbreak of norovirus-like illness associated with Maggiano's Little Italy restaurant in Bellevue. People from several unrelated private events at Maggiano's reported symptoms consistent with norovirus following meals that were consumed between January 18th and January 23rd. As many as 60 people may have been impacted by the outbreak, though not all were interviewed directly by Public Health. Several restaurant workers also reported being ill with symptoms consistent with norovirus dating back to January 9th and over the subsequent two weeks.

Public Health learned of the outbreak late on Friday, January 22nd. The restaurant worked cooperatively with Public Health; their food business permit was temporarily suspended to allow time for thorough cleaning and sanitizing and the restaurant was reopened on January 27th. No additional reports of illness have been received following the reopening.

About norovirus:

Norovirus is a highly contagious virus that is frequently spread person-to-person and is often associated with food. Learn more about norovirus at Public Health's website. Norovirus illness often has a sudden onset of nausea and vomiting and/or watery diarrhea with cramps. A low grade fever, chills, and body aches sometimes occur. Norovirus rarely causes severe complications. Dehydration is the most common complication, particularly among young children and the elderly. No vaccine is available for norovirus. Anyone with norovirus symptoms should wait at least 48 hours after their last episode of vomiting and/or diarrhea before preparing food for others. Wash hands with soap and water after using the toilet or changing diapers, and before preparing food or eating. Because raw seafood can be contaminated with Norovirus, always cook shellfish and other seafood thoroughly before eating.


How to report possible foodborne illness
If you or others in your party got sick and you think it might have been from food prepared at a King County food service establishment, call 206-296-4774 during business hours (Monday - Friday, 8 am to 5 pm) to report the illness. Learn more about what details we need from you when you call.

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