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Bacillus cereus illness associated with Pho Tai in Federal Way

Cases 4
Hospitalizations 0
Deaths 0
Status Investigation is complete
Location Pho Tai, 31513 Pacific Hwy S, Federal Way, WA 98003
Meal dates April 25, 2021
Prior food safety inspections and current rating? GOOD

Highlights, updated June 3, 2021


Public Health investigated an outbreak of gastrointestinal illness with diarrhea, nausea and vomiting associated with a meal at Pho Tai on April 25, 2021.

The exact food or drink that caused the illnesses has not been identified, though this is not uncommon for outbreaks associated with a bacterial toxin.


Since April 27, 2021, Public Health learned about 4 people from a single meal party who reported becoming sick after consuming food from Pho Tai on April 25, 2021.

Symptoms and timing of illness onsets are suggestive of a bacterial toxin, such as Bacillus cereus or Clostridium perfringens.

Public Health actions

Environmental Health investigators visited the restaurant on April 28, 2021. Investigators identified potential risk factors for bacterial toxin growth including inadequate procedures and temperature documentation for cooling of potentially hazardous foods. Corrective actions were discussed with restaurant management at the time of the visit.

Laboratory testing

We do not have laboratory testing for the people who got sick. Bacterial toxin illnesses are typically short-lived and by the time people seek care, if they do at all, it is often too long after the suspected exposure to test.