April 2, 2020

Seattle Evergreen Restaurants E. coli Outbreak Has Sickened Thirteen

The Seattle Evergreen restaurants E. coli O157:H7 outbreak has now sickened 13 people according to a press release issued by the Seattle King County Health Department. The outbreak is associated with six Evergreen restaurants, an increase of two restaurants since the outbreak was first announced on November 26, 2019. Three people have been hospitalized because they are so sick.

Seattle Evergreen Restaurants E. coli Outbreak Has Sickened Thirteen

The six restaurants have had excellent inspection reports in the past. They are Evergreen restaurants located in Pioneer Square at 106 1st Avenue South in Seattle; the University District at 4609 Village Ter Northeast in Seattle; Downtown at 823 3rd Avenue in Seattle; Chinatown-International District at 504 5th Avenue South in Seattle; Sammamish Highlands at 600 228th Avenue Northeast in Sammamish; and Seattle-Tacoma International Airport at 17801 International Boulevard in Seattle. The meal dates for this outbreak are November 5 through November 11, 2019.

The health department does not have conclusive results about what caused this outbreak. However, genetic testing on ten of the thirteen patient isolates are closely related, which suggests a common source. The other three cases are people who were sick with symptoms that suggest an E. coli infection, but they were near tested.

Illness onset dates range from November 8, 2019 to November 15, 2019. Those dates all fall within the three to seven day incubation period for an E. coli O157:H7 infection. All of the patients have recovered from their illness.

During November 21 to December 4, 2019, Environmental Health Investigators visited five of the six Evergreen locations where ill persons ate, and plan to visit the 6th location soon. Inspectors did not observe any environmental or behavioral risk factors associated with the spread of E. coli bacteria. One employee had symptoms consistent with an E. coli infection after eating at Evergreens but was not tested. There is no evidence indicating that this person is the source of the outbreak.

Evergeens restaurants discarded all romaine lettuce from their stores, since there is a multistate E. coli O157:H7 outbreak linked to romaine lettuce that is ongoing. But investigators have not included these illnesses in that larger outbreak, since the 10 isolates taken from people in Seattle did not match the genetic fingerprint of the national outbreak strain.

Lawyer Fred Pritzker

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with an E. coli O157:H7 infection, you can contact attorney Fred Pritzker for help by calling 1-888-377-8900.

The outbreak notice did state that “This local outbreak could be the result of a contaminated product delivered to and served at Evergreens. Public Health collected samples of various produce samples from two Evergreens locations where the ill people ate. E. coli testing of these food products at Washington State Public Health Laboratory were negative.”

Traceback is being conducted to try to pinpoint the distributors and sources for ingredients consumed by people who got sick. This can take days or weeks to complete.

Symptoms of an E. coli O157:H7 infection include a mild fever, vomiting, severe and painful abdominal and stomach cramps, and diarrhea that is usually bloody or watery. Most people are sick for about a week. Some people do need to be hospitalized when they contract this infection, especially the elderly, very young children, and anyone with a chronic health condition.

 

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