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Posted March 3, 2016

Public Health is investigating an outbreak of gastroenteritis with vomiting, nausea and diarrhea associated with Small Frye's restaurant located at 4225 Preston Fall City Road SE, Fall City, WA. As many as 4 people became ill after eating at the restaurant on 2/18/16. Public Health learned of the outbreak on 3/1/16.

We do not have laboratory confirmation of the etiology, but symptoms are suggestive of norovirus. Often in norovirus outbreaks no laboratory testing is done. The exact food item that caused the illnesses has not yet been identified, though this is not uncommon for outbreaks of norovirus when multiple food items may be contaminated.

The restaurant is working cooperatively with Public Health. After a field inspection, we identified several factors that could have contributed to this outbreak, including an ill food worker on the premises, inadequate handwashing, and inadequate handwashing facilities. In response, we have suspended the restaurant’s permit so that they may correct these issues, decontaminate the facility, and exclude the ill food worker from the operation.

About norovirus

Norovirus is a highly contagious virus that is frequently spread person-to-person and is often associated with food. Learn more about norovirus. 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. Anyone with norovirus symptoms should wait at least 48 hours after their last episode of vomiting and/or diarrhea before preparing food for others. Wash hands with soap and water after using the toilet or changing diapers, and before preparing food or eating. Because raw seafood can be contaminated with norovirus, always cook shellfish and other seafood thoroughly before eating.