April 21, 2024

Bacterial Outbreak Associated With Xi’an Noodles in Seattle Sickens Three

Three people are sick after a bacterial toxin is associated with Xi’an Noodles restaurant in Seattle, Washington. None of the patients have been hospitalized. The people ate at that restaurant on December 21, 2018.

Food Poisoning Xi'an Noodles Restaurant Seattle

King County Public Health is investigating this outbreak. The symptoms patients experienced include abdominal cramps and diarrhea. All three patients were from a single meal party.

The press release states that symptoms and timing suggest that a bacterial toxin is responsible for the illnesses, such as Clostridium perfringens or Bacillus cereus. The exact food or beverage served at Xi’an Noodles that caused the illness has not yet been identified.

Environmental Health investigators were at the restaurant on December 31, 2018. Earlier food safety inspections and the current rating for the restaurant were good.

Investigators looked for potential risk factors, including lack of thermometer use, incorrect cooling of foods that can be dangerous, and improper storage of foods at room temperature.

There is no laboratory testing for the people who were sickened in this outbreak. Illnesses caused by bacterial toxins are usually short-lived. By the time patients sickened by toxins see a doctor, it’s too late to test.

Both Bacillus cereus and Clostridium botulinum bacteria grow and produce toxins in large quantities of food. This food is usually kept at an unsafe temperature in the danger zone of 40°F to 140°F. The bacteria produce a toxin that can survive reheating.

To avoid this type of food poisoning, foods, especially meats, rice, and gravies, should be kept at temperatures above 140°F, cooled quickly in small quantities, and reheated to 165°F before serving.

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