(SEATTLE, WA.) -- The Seattle-King
Health department has announced the closure of a Puget Sound catering
firm, Eric Gorbman Catering for "operating without a valid
permit" and due to what it called an "imminent health
The health agency says the catering
ordered closed on March 8 at 3:00 pm.
In an updated statement issued March
public health agency said it is investigating, "An outbreak
of Shigella infection (also known as "shigellosis")
associated with events at Temple Beth Am and Temple Beth Shalom in
Seattle. Both events were catered by Eric Gorbman Catering with
additional food items brought potluck style by attendees."
agency says if you or someone in your family attended an event at
Temple Beth Am or at Temple Beth Shalom in Seattle on March 3,
take a few minutes to complete this survey even
if you did not get ill.
Comparing food histories between those
ill and those who did not can help the agency determine what might
have caused illness and prevent others from becoming sick.
"If you are currently ill with symptoms
as diarrhea (bloody or non-bloody), fever, and abdominal pain, please
contact your health care provider to discuss testing and treatment
options. Submitting a stool sample can help confirm if you have
shigellosis," said the agency statement.
The agency says anyone ill with
shigellosis should not work in food handling, patient care, or
childcare settings, and ill children with suspected shigellosis
should not attend daycare until they have seen a healthcare provider
and been tested for Shigella infection, even if their illness is
mild. Persons with Shigella infection who work in or attend these
sensitive settings must be cleared by Public Health before returning.
Since March 6, Seattle-King County
has learned of at least 15 people that became ill with
gastroenteritis after consuming food and beverages from the events in
Seattle on March 3. One ill attendee is hospitalized.
"Additionally, we have determined that
least 2 catering employees have also reported similar illness
following the event, but these employees did not report being ill
while working at the event so it is likely that they were exposed at
the event rather than the source of the outbreak," said the
Health Communicable Disease investigators are interviewing event
attendees about the foods they ate and symptoms they experienced. In
addition, we are working with the Washington State Department of
Health to collect this information from event attendees who we are
unable to interview with an online
"Comparing food histories from event
attendees who became ill and those who did not could help us
determine what might have caused illness and prevent others from
becoming sick. Investigators are also interviewing catering staff."
The agency also said its "Environmental
Health team is meeting with the caterer to collect information about
the food prepared at the event and food safety practices. We have
reached out to the venues where the private events were held to
advise them on deep cleaning procedures. The exact food or drink item
that caused the illnesses has not been identified. We may never know
what caused the illness because the bacteria spreads easily and
multiple food items may have been contaminated."
agency has received laboratory confirmation that one of the ill
persons was infected with Shigella.
is an infectious disease caused by bacteria called Shigella.
Most who are infected with Shigella develop
diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps. Some people may have no symptoms
at all. Shigella usually
resolves itself in 5-7 days, but recovered individuals may still
spread the bacteria.