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Salmonella outbreak associated with Chili's South Indian Cuisine in Seattle

Cases 3
Hospitalizations 0
Deaths 0
Status Investigation is complete
Location Chili's South Indian Cuisine, 4220 University Way NE, Seattle, WA 98105
Meal dates September 17 and 23, 2022
Prior food safety inspections and current rating?

    Highlights, updated November 14, 2022


    Public Health investigated an outbreak of salmonellosis (caused by Salmonella bacteria) associated with Chili's South Indian Cuisine in Seattle. We did not identify how Salmonella was spread within the restaurant. This is not uncommon because Salmonella can spread through contaminated food items, environmental surfaces, and from person to person.


    Since October 6, 2022, three people from two separate meal parties reported becoming ill after consuming food from Chili's South Indian Cuisine in Seattle on September 17, 2022 and September 23, 2022. All the people developed one or more symptoms consistent with salmonellosis, including diarrhea, abdominal cramping, nausea, and vomiting. We did not identify any ill employees.

    Public Health actions

    Public Health conducted interviews with the people ill with salmonellosis to identify potential common exposures and identified that they all became ill after eating food from Chili’s South Indian Cuisine.

    Environmental Health Investigators visited the restaurant on October 19, 2022. Investigators identified sanitizing issues, potential cross contamination, inadequate hand washing, and lack of proper access to handwashing stations. Corrective actions were taken during the inspection. On November 8, 2022, Environmental Health Investigators revisited the facility and ensured proper compliance with food handling practices.

    No ill employees were identified at the time of inspection. Investigators reviewed with restaurant management the requirement that ill staff are not allowed to work until they are symptom-free. Investigators provided education about preventing the spread of Salmonella – including preventing cross contamination, proper cooling methods, sanitizing procedures and handwashing.

    Laboratory testing

    Two of the cases had confirmatory testing indicating infections with Salmonella via culture. Both cases had the same strain of Salmonella, based on genetic fingerprinting (whole genome sequencing or WGS) at the Washington State Public Health Laboratory. The third case did not have confirmatory testing but had symptoms consistent with Salmonellosis and is epidemiologically linked.

    On October 19, 2022, environmental samples were collected from the restaurant and tested at Washington State Public Health Laboratory. Salmonella was not found in samples from the facility.