October 21, 2016

After Sickening 10 With E. coli, Los Chilangos Cleared to Reopen

E. coli PhotoAfter being linked to an E. coli outbreak that has sickened 10 people, the Seattle Food truck operation Los Chilangos was cleared to reopen September 2. The food truck operation had been closed since August 21 after it was linked to illnesses among attendees of the Issaquah and Sammamish farmers markets on August 8th and August 12th.

Taqueria Los Chilangos uses shared kitchen space at Eastside Commercial Kitchen with about a dozen companies. It operates two food trucks serving seven farmers markets in King and Snohomish counties.

Documents from the county health department show Los Chilangos was operating with an expired food permit. Both trucks were cleared to reopen after: paying for a permit, discarding all food, washing and sanitizing all equipment, completing an inspection of the shared  kitchen space, reviewing food safety measures with employees and agreeing to prevent employees who are sick from working. So far, none of the employees has tested positive for E. coli.

Each Los Chilangos truck has had three inspections this year. One truck had two “satisfactory” inspections on June 17 and July 28 and one “unsatisfactory” inspection on January 20 for inadequate handwashing facilities. The second truck has also had three inspections this year -on March 12, June 17 and August 28. None of those inspections was satisfactory. On each of the visits, health inspectors found that cold food was not being held at proper temperatures. This is considered a “critical” food violation because bacteria grows rapidly in food stored or held at improper temperatures.

A 4-year-old girl is among those sickened in this outbreak. She has been hospitalized with HUS kidney failure at Seattle Children’s Hospital for more than a week.

This post was updated September 4.

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