Skip to main content
King County logo


  • Cases: 17
  • Hospitalizations: 0
  • Deaths: 0
  • Status: Investigation is completed
  • Location: Okinawa Teriyaki, 1100 Western Ave, Seattle, WA 98101
  • Event date: May 8-9, 2018
  • Prior food safety inspections and current rating? OKAY


Updated May 24, 2018


Public Health investigated an outbreak of norovirus with nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea associated with Okinawa Teriyaki in Seattle.


Since May 11, Public Health has learned of 17 people from three separate meal parties who became ill after consuming food and beverage from Okinawa Teriyaki between May 8-9, 2018.

Public Health actions

Environmental Health investigators visited the restaurant on May 11, 2018. The investigators observed that proper disinfectants were not being used to clean kitchen surfaces. They also learned that a customer had vomited in the dining area on May 7 or May 8, and it appears an effective cleaning solution against norovirus was not used when cleaning the vomit. If this customer was infected with norovirus, this could have contaminated the dining area with norovirus. No employees reported being ill.

The restaurant is normally closed over the weekend, so employees were required to conduct a thorough cleaning and disinfection of the kitchen and dining area during this time. Investigators revisited the restaurant on May 14 and May 16 to ensure proper cleaning and disinfection of the restaurant was completed.

Laboratory testing

We do not have laboratory results for the people who got sick. Often in norovirus outbreaks, no laboratory testing is done. The exact food or drink item that caused the illness has not been identified, though this is not uncommon for norovirus outbreaks where multiple food items may be contaminated.

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.


General advice for reducing risk of contracting norovirus:

  • Wash hands, cutting boards, and counters used for food preparation immediately after use to avoid cross contaminating 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