December 8, 2019

E. coli Outbreak Associated with Four Seattle Evergreens Restaurants

Seven people are sick in an E. coli outbreak associated with four Seattle Evergreens restaurants, according to the Seattle King County Health Department. One person has been hospitalized.

E. coli Outbreak Associated with Four Seattle Evergreens Restaurants

Those four Evergreen restaurants are all located in Seattle. They are at Pioneer Square at 106 1st Avenue South, in the University District at 4609 Village Ter Northeast, Downtown at 823 3rd Avenue, and the International District at 504 5th Avenue South. The meal dates were November 5 through November 11, 2019. Illness onset dates ranged from November 10 through November 15, 2019. The health department is still investigating and doesn’t have conclusive results about what caused this Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) outbreak.

Genetic testing on isolates from four of the seven ill persons indicate that the strains are the same, which suggests a common pathogen source. Test results are still pending on the three other patients.

What’s interesting is that there is an ongoing multistate E. coli O157:H7 outbreak that is linked to romaine lettuce that has sickened at least 67 people in 19 states, but this Seattle outback is caused by a different strain of E. coli. Genetic testing on isolates of four of the patients doesn’t match the national outbreak strain.

Lawyer Fred Pritzker

Food safety attorney Fred Pritzker said, “Long term consequences of a STEC infection can include kidney disease, heart disease, and high blood pressure. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with an E. coli O157:H7 infection, you can contact Fred for help by calling 1-888-377-8900.

Since November 20, 2019, six people have tested positive for E. coli O157:H7 infections after eating at those four Evergreen restaurants. One person was diagnosed with an E. coli infection with the same genetic fingerprint, but didn’t eat at any Evergreens restaurant.

Environmental health investigators visited the Seattle Evergreens restaurants between November 21 and November 25, 2019. During their field inspections, they did not observe any behavioral risk or environmental factors associated with the spread or proliferation of E. coli bacteria. Many of the patients who got sick said they ate raw vegetables, including leafy greens, from sources other than Evergreens before they got sick.

Evergreens restaurants discarded all romaine lettuce from their stores out of caution. Public health reviewed proper sanitizing practices with staff, and management reviewed sick policy with all of the employees. No employees with symptoms of an E. coli infection have been identified, but not all employees have been surveyed.

A Shiga toxin-producing E. coli infection causes symptoms including a mild fever, stomach cramps, and diarrhea that is bloody and watery. The symptoms usually start a few days after exposure to the pathogen. Most people are sick for about a week. If anyone you know is experiencing these symptoms, they should see a doctor.

 

 

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