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AT-A-GLANCE

  • Cases: 12
  • Hospitalizations: 0
  • Deaths: 0
  • Status: Investigation is complete
  • Location: Il Terrazzo Carmine, 411 1st Ave S, Seattle, WA 98104
  • Meal dates: April 2 and April 5, 2022
  • Prior food safety inspections and current rating?

Highlights

Updated May 19, 2022
Summary

Public Health investigated an outbreak of norovirus-like illness associated with vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and chills at Il Terrazzo Carmine in Seattle.

We suspect raw oysters as the likely source of illness, however it is not uncommon for norovirus outbreaks to involve multiple contaminated food items, environmental surfaces and to spread from person to person.

Illnesses

Since April 4, 2022, 12 people from 5 separate meal parties reported becoming ill after eating food from the Il Terrazzo Carmine on April 2, 2022. We did not identify any ill employees.

Public Health actions

Environmental Health Investigators visited the restaurant on April 5, 2022. We observed numerous improper food handling practices, including inadequate handwashing, inadequate use of barriers to prevent bare hand contact with ready to eat foods, lack of temperature controls, and risk of cross contamination. These violations are also risk factors for the spread of norovirus.

Based on these improper food handling practices, investigators closed the restaurant on April 5, 2022. The restaurant was required to complete a thorough cleaning and disinfection. All ready-to-eat foods processed before the restaurant was disinfected were discarded.

Environmental Health Investigators revisited the restaurant on April 7 to confirm proper cleaning and disinfection. The restaurant was reopened on April 7, 2022.

Investigators reviewed with restaurant management the requirement that ill staff are not allowed to work until they are symptom-free for at least 48 hours and provided education about preventing the spread of norovirus —Investigators reviewed with restaurant management the requirement that ill staff are not allowed to work until they are symptom-free for at least 48 hours and provided education about preventing the spread of norovirus — including proper handwashing and preventing bare hand contact with ready-to-eat foods. including proper handwashing and preventing bare hand contact with ready-to-eat foods.

Laboratory testing

Investigators reviewed with restaurant management the requirement that ill staff are not allowed to work until they are symptom-free for at least 48 hours and provided education about preventing the spread of norovirus — including proper handwashing and preventing bare hand contact with ready-to-eat foods.

Report possible foodborne illness

About norovirus

  • Norovirus is a highly contagious virus that frequently spreads person-to-person and is often associated with food. 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.
  • Shellfish such as oysters, clams, and mussels are filter feeders. They ingest norovirus if it is present in the water. Though all shellfish can be a source of norovirus infection if consumed raw or undercooked, oysters are much more commonly consumed raw than other shellfish.
  • For more information see our previous blog post on norovirus and shellfish: Love oysters? Pay attention to this warning, Public Health Insider

Prevention

General advice for reducing risk of contracting norovirus:

  • Wash hands, cutting boards, and counters used for food preparation immediately after use to avoid cross-contamination of other foods.
  • Wash hands thoroughly with soap after using the bathroom or changing diapers, and before preparing any food or eating.
  • Wait at least 48 hours after the last episode of vomiting and/or diarrhea before preparing any food for others.

More information about norovirus:

Link/share this page at kingcounty.gov/outbreak/il-terrazzo-carmine