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Posted March 10, 2016

Public Health is investigating an outbreak of gastroenteritis with vomiting, diarrhea, aches and cramps associated with El Camion 3, a food truck that operates at 5314 15th Ave NW, in Seattle. Two people from separate meal parties became ill after eating at the food truck between 2/29/16-3/7/16; neither was hospitalized. Symptoms and timing of illness onset are suggestive of a bacterial toxin from Staphylococcus aureus ("Staph") or Clostridium perfringens. No tests were done with the two ill people to confirm which pathogen caused the illness: bacterial toxin illnesses are typically short-lived and by the time people seek care – if they do at all – it is too far from exposure to test. Commonly consumed food items that may have caused the illnesses include carne asada, and raw vegetables such as lettuce and tomatoes.

Public Health received the first report of illness 3/1/16. On 3/8/16, a second person reported becoming ill from the same venue. Public Health performed a field investigation of the food truck and its commissary on 3/9/16. During this investigation, inspectors identified factors that may have contributed to this foodborne illness outbreak, including improper cooling and room temperature storage of potentially hazardous food. Given these and other repeated violations, Public Health has suspended the food truck’s permit and destroyed potentially hazardous foods that had been temperature abused. Though Public Health does not permit commissaries for mobile food vehicles directly, when a mobile vendor’s permit is suspended, its entire operation must close until approved to re-open by Public Health. El Camion also operates a brick-and-mortar restaurant located at 6416 15th Ave. NW. This location has not been implicated in the outbreak, but has decided to close on its own.