Foodborne illness outbreak investigation summary
Posted July 11, 2016
Public Health is investigating three illnesses from a single meal party associated with Yoko 3 restaurant located at 4516 Klahanie Drive SE in Issaquah. The group ate at the restaurant on 7/5/16 and later that same day, three people became ill with gastrointestinal symptoms including cramping and diarrhea; none of the ill people were hospitalized. Symptoms and timing of illness onset were consistent with the diarrheal form of Bacillus cereus or Clostridium perfringens. The food source that led to these illnesses is unknown, but may have been rice, which is a frequent vehicle for bacterial toxins such as B. cereus or C. perfringens. No tests were done 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.
Public Health learned of the outbreak on 7/7/16. No other illnesses associated with this restaurant have been reported since then. Public Health performed a field investigation of the restaurant on 7/11/16, which resulted in temporary closure of the facility. Investigators found several problems including storage of potentially hazardous foods at unsafe temperatures, improper cooling of potentially hazardous foods, cross contamination, and inadequate handwashing. The decision to suspend the restaurant's permit was based on the number of critical violations. The restaurant's permit was reinstated on 7/14/16 after attending an administrative conference and passing a reinspection
B. cereus and C. perfringens are both bacteria that grow rapidly at room temperature. When cooking potentially hazardous foods, it's important to keep food out of the danger zone, which is 41 to 135 degrees Fahrenheit by serving while the food is still hot, refrigerating quickly after cooking, or holding at a minimum of 135 degrees.