October 20, 2019

Outbreak Associated with Thai Woodinville Restaurants in Seattle, WA

A gastroenteritis outbreak is associated with Thai Woodinville restaurant in Woodinville, Washington, according to public health officials. That restaurant is located at 17610 140th Avenue NE. Three people are sick with symptoms of abdominal cramping an diarrhea.

Thai Woodinville Outbreak

Public Health Seattle King County learned of this outbreak on January 24, 2018. Three people from a single meal party started getting sick on January 18, 2019. The symptoms and the timing of illness onset suggest a bacterial toxin may have caused the outbreak. Officials think that Bacillus Cereus or Clostridium perfringens may be involved.

Public health officials have not identified the exact food or drink that caused the illness. This type of outbreak happens when large quantities of food are prepared, then not properly cooled or not correctly reheated before serving. Bacillus cereus and Clostridium perfringens outbreaks are associated with meats, rice, leftovers, sauces, soups, and other prepared foods.

Environmental Health investigators went to the restaurant on January 25, 2019. They found potential risk factors for the growth of bacteria, including incorrect cooling procedures for potentially hazardous foods, and improper storage of eggs and meats. The facility made changes to correct unsafe food practices during the inspection. Inspectors will go back to the restaurant within 14 days to make sure they are complying with regulations.

There was no laboratory testing for the people who got sick.

To prevent this type of outbreak, it’s important that anyone, but especially people who work in restaurants, follow proper food safety rules. Foods should be cooked to a safe final internal temperature, then kept above 140°F or below 40°F to avoid bacterial growth. Hot foods can be put directly into the fridge, but it’s important that large amounts of food be divided up so they cool quickly. Leftovers should always be reheated to at least 165°F. Measure the temperature in the center of the food, using a reliable food thermometer. And when in doubt, throw it out.

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