June 21, 2018

Toulouse Petit Kitchen Closed in Seattle Amid Outbreak

Public Health – Seattle & King County closed the Toulouse Petit Kitchen & Lounge in Seattle’s Queen Anne neighborhood after a foodborne illness outbreak was associated with that facility. It is located at 601 Queen Anne Avenue North. The restaurant was closed on September 22, 2016.

Luxury Restaurant Table setting.

The reasons given on the King County web site were for: potentially hazardous food held at unsafe temperatures, improper cooling of potentially hazardous food, inadequate facilities to control temperature of potentially hazardous food under cold holding, and foods not protected from cross contamination. The page on that restaurant also says: “Imminent health hazard: investigation of possible foodborne illness outbreak.”

Six out of seven people from the same party ate at the restaurant on September 10, 2016 and became ill with gastrointestinal symptoms. Their illness was cramping, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, and headache. The symptoms and timing of illness onset are consistent with a bacterial infection such as Salmonella food poisoning or Shiga Toxin-producing E. coli (STEC). None of those sickened have been hospitalized.

The food source that led to these illnesses is still under investigation, but the party had consumed food items that “may increase the risk of foodborne illness, including raw beef and raw egg,” according to the county’s notice. Testing of stool samples and environmental samples from the restaurant itself are underway.

Public Health learned about the outbreak on September 20, 2016. The restaurant was inspected on September 22, 2016 and several serious problems were found. The restaurant will be allowed to reopen after corrections are made, and officials are confident that the outbreak is over.

Raw beef and raw egg often contain pathogenic bacteria such as Salmonella and E. coli. Food safety experts recommend that these products are always cooked to a minimum temperature of 160°F as measured by a food thermometer to avoid food poisoning.

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