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AT-A-GLANCE

  • Cases: 3
  • Hospitalizations: 0
  • Deaths: 0
  • Status: Investigation is completed
  • Location: 12th Street Grill, 12255 Aurora Ave N, Seattle 98133
  • Event date: April 28, 2018
  • Prior food safety inspections and current rating? GOOD

Highlights

Updated May 4, 2018
Summary

Public Health investigated an outbreak of gastroenteritis with abdominal cramps and diarrhea associated with 125th Street Grill in Seattle.

Illnesses

Three people from a single meal party became ill after eating at 125th Street Grill on April 28, 2018. Symptoms and timing of their illness onset are suggestive of a bacterial toxin, such as Bacillus cereus or Clostridium perfringens.

Public Health actions

Environmental Health investigators visited the restaurant on May 2, 2018. Investigators did not identify any factors that may have contributed to this illness. However, they observed lack of consistency in their safe food storage practices. Investigators provided education to restaurant management about safe food handling practices to reduce the risk of bacterial toxins. The restaurant is working cooperatively with Public Health.

Environmental Health investigators will revisit the restaurant within 14 days to ensure their compliance with proper food handling practices.

Laboratory testing

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 often too long after the suspected exposure to test.

Report possible foodborne illness

About B. cereus and C. perfringens

  • B. cereus and C. perfringens are bacteria that grow rapidly at room temperature. These bacteria are found in a variety of foods, including meats, rice, leftovers, sauces, soups, and other prepared foods, particularly those that have sat out too long at room temperature.
  • Both bacteria are commonly found in the environment. Contaminated foods could be temperature abused at some point prior to arrival at the restaurant, possibly allowing for enough growth of the bacteria or their spores, which then can’t be completely removed by proper refrigeration and cooking.

Prevention

General advice for reducing risk of contracting B. cereus and C. perfringens:

  • Wash hands, cutting boards, and counters used for food preparation immediately after use to avoid cross-contamination of other foods.
  • Food, especially meats, rice, and gravies should be cooked to a safe internal temperature, and then kept at 140°F (60°C) or warmer, or 40°F (4.4°C) or cooler.
  • Leftover foods should be refrigerated as soon as possible and within 2 hours of preparation.
  • It is recommended to put hot foods directly into the refrigerator. However, to allow rapid cooling, large amounts of food, such as soups, stews, and big cuts of meats, such as roasts, should be divided into small quantities for refrigeration.
  • Leftovers should be reheated to at least 165°F (74°C) before serving.
  • When in doubt, throw it out. Foods that have dangerous bacteria in them may not taste, smell, or look different. Any food that has been left out too long may be dangerous to eat, even if it looks OK.

More information about B. cereus and C. perfringens