Seattle restaurant closed for investigation of food-borne illness outbreak
January 19, 2018
(SEATTLE, WA.) -- Public Health - Seattle & King County says the Pho Aroma restaurant at 56th & Delridge Way SW in West Seattle has been closed while health investigators look for the source of a possible food-borne illness outbreak of gastroenteritis with nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
The health agency says on January 16, 2018, it "learned of 3 ill persons from one meal party that became ill after consuming food and beverage from the restaurant on January 13."
As part of the Public Health investigation, Environmental Health investigators visited and closed the restaurant on January 17. During the field inspection, investigators identified 2 employees who experienced similar symptoms after the ill customers' meal date of January 13.
The agency's statement says, "We do not have laboratory confirmation of the pathogen responsible for the illness, but symptoms are suggestive of norovirus. Often in norovirus outbreaks, no laboratory testing is done. The exact food or drink item that caused the illness has not been identified, though this is not uncommon for norovirus outbreaks where multiple food items may be contaminated."
Second eatery closed, then re-opened
The health agency also says the Hyderbad House at 17181 Redmond Way was closed on Jan. 17 at 3:30 pm for regulation violations including room temperature storage of potentially hazard food, improper cold holding, improper cooling, inadequate hand wash facilities and bare hand contact with ready-to-eat food.
After correcting the deficiencies the restaurant was allowed to reopen Jan. 18 at 3:30 pm
Norovirus is a highly contagious virus that frequently spreads person-to-person and is often associated with food. Norovirus illness often has a sudden onset of nausea and vomiting and/or watery diarrhea with cramps. A low-grade fever, chills, and body aches sometimes occur.
Norovirus rarely causes severe complications. Dehydration is the most common complication, particularly among young children and the elderly. No vaccine is available for norovirus.
General advice for reducing risk of contracting norovirus:
1. Wash hands, cutting boards, and counters used for food preparation immediately after use to avoid cross contaminating other foods.
2. Wash hands thoroughly with soap after using the bathroom or changing diapers, and before preparing any food or eating.
3. Wait at least 48 hours after the last episode of vomiting and/or diarrhea before preparing any food for others.