December 11, 2016

Vibrio Infection Associated with Fish from WA Asian Food Center

A woman from King County in Washington state was diagnosed with a wound caused by the bacteria Vibrio vulnificus on November 10, 2016. She was preparing tilapia fish purchased from the Asian Food Center at 14509 NE 20th Street in Bellevue. The woman, who is in her fifties, allegedly contracted the infection while she was preparing the raw fish. She cut her finger during preparation, which gave the bacteria entry. She was hospitalized and is now recovering at home. Vibrio bacteria live in seawater. This bacteria is very rarely found in the Pacific Northwest, but is more common in areas with warmer seawater, such as the Gulf of Mexico. Public health officials are testing the fish tanks at the Asian Food Center and are also testing samples of fish from that facility to … [Read more...]

Worker at Shop’N Kart Bakery In Chehalis, WA Has Hepatitis A

A food service worker at the Shop'N Kart bakery in Chehalis, Washington has been diagnosed with hepatitis A, according to the Lewis County Public Health & Social Services. That illness was reported to the Health Department on October 6, 2016. That worker was at the bakery between September 8 and October 6, 2016. Anyone who ate decorated cakes or cupcakes purchased from that bakery between those dates may have been exposed to hepatitis A. People who ate there between September 8 and September 25 may have been exposed to the virus, but it's now too late for those people to get a vaccination against the disease. All those people can do is monitor themselves for the symptoms of hepatitis A and go to a doctor if they develop. Hepatitis A or immune globulin vaccinations are only … [Read more...]

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. 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 … [Read more...]

Matador Restaurant Reopens after E. coli Outbreak

King County Public Health has released a statement saying that the Matador restaurant in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle has reopened as of 2:00 pm September 15, 2016. The restaurant has been cleaned and sanitized, and all opened and prepared food was discarded after an E. coli outbreak. That restaurant is associated with an E. coli outbreak that sickened five people in the Seattle area. There are ten people infected with the same strain of E. coli bacteria. Seven of them ate food from the Matador. The other three patients, who all live outside King County, are "not known to have eaten at the Matador." News reports have stated that three of those sickened in King County have been hospitalized. And the others who are sick with the same E. coli strain may live in Colorado, … [Read more...]

E. coli Outbreak Associated with Memo’s Restaurant in Seattle, WA

King County Public Health is investigating two Shiga toxin-producing E coli (STEC) infections that are associated with Memo's Mexican Food restaurant in the University District in Seattle. One person lives in King County; the other does not. The King County resident ate at that restaurant on August 18 and August 24, 2016. The other Washington state resident ate there on August 24, 2016. Public Health received the first report of illness on August 31, 2016. Both persons have recovered. PFGE testing has found that both of the illnesses were caused by the same strain of E. coli bacteria. There is another E. coli outbreak in that county that is associated with the Matador Restaurant in the Ballard Neighborhood of Seattle. The genetic fingerprint for the strain in the Memo's outbreak … [Read more...]

2 Cardiac Patients at UW Medical Center Diagnosed with Legionnaires’ Disease; 1 Dead.

Two patients who were admitted to the University of Washington Medical Center (UWMC)’s cardiac unit in late August were subsequently diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease, a severe form of pneumonia which can be fatal in up to 50% of hospital-acquired cases. While one of these unnamed patients was treated and released, the other patient – a resident of Benton County – has died. According to the Seattle Times, the first case was reported on August 26, 2016. At this time, hospital officials said that it was unknown whether the patient had contracted Legionnaires’ disease in the community or in the hospital. However, a second patient admitted to the same cardiac unit during the same timeframe was then also diagnosed with the potentially fatal illness. Legionnaires’ disease is not … [Read more...]

King County Updates WA Matador E. coli Outbreak

King County has updated their investigation into the E. coli outbreak among people who ate at the Matador restaurant in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle, Washington. In addition to the five people sickened who ate at the Matador restaurant, there are five others who are sick with the same E. coli strain. And there are two other Washington state residents, who do not live in King County, and three out-of-state residents who have tested positive for the same strain of E. coli bacteria. One of the out-of-state cases had a meal at the Matador restaurant in Ballard during the exposure period. The others do not have any identifiable links to the restaurant. And there are no links to restaurants other than the Matador in this outbreak at this time. The genetic fingerprint of the E. … [Read more...]

E. coli Outbreak Associated with WA Matador Restaurant

An E. coli outbreak is associated with the Matador restaurant in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle, Washington, according to the King County Department of Public Health. At least five people have been sickened in this outbreak so far. The government has temporarily suspended Matador's food business permit so the facility can be cleaned and sanitized. The bacteria that caused these illnesses is Shiga-toxin producing E. coli (STEC). This pathogenic bacteria can cause serious illness; in fact, three people were hospitalized in this outbreak because they were so sick. One person developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a potentially deadly complication of an E. coli infection. Four of those sickened ate at the Matador Restaurant on August 14, 2016, and one person ate there on … [Read more...]

After Salmonella Outbreak Health Officials Warn: Hire Caterers With a Permit

After a Salmonella outbreak in Washington state was linked to Mr. Rick's, a caterer operating without a permit for years, the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department issued a consumer advisory about the importance of choosing a caterer with a permit to operate. At least 175 people from a number of counties were sickened in the outbreak. All of them attended events catered by Mr. Rick's. “Local caterers with the appropriate permit to prepare and serve food at events are responsible for following food safety rules—and protecting the public’s health,” said Rachel Knight, food safety program manager at Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department. Hiring a caterer with a permit is one way to reduce the risk of food poisoning, the advisory states. In doing so, you are hiring a company that: … [Read more...]

Hiring a Caterer? Due Diligence is in Order

A wedding held in Snonomish County, Washington state last month was the scene of a food poisoning outbreak that sickened at least 20 people. The caterer for that event, Mr. Rick's Catering, was unlicensed and unpermitted. In fact, that business was recently fined by the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department for continuing to operate without a permit since 2012. If you are planning an event and need a caterer, it behooves you to investigate their background. Unlicensed caterers do exist in this country. The Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department reminds consumers that buy9ing food from permitted food sellers reduces your risk for foodborne illness. No food is 100% safe, of course, but reducing the risk of contamination is important. Permitted caterers employ staff who are trained … [Read more...]

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