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AT-A-GLANCE

Highlights

Updated June 5, 2018

Summary

Public Health investigated an outbreak of norovirus with nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea associated with Italianissimo Ristorante in Woodinville.

Illnesses

Since May 16, Public Health has learned of 29 people from 12 separate meal parties who became ill after consuming food and beverage from the Italianissimo Ristorante between May 11–15, 2018. Anecdotally, the restaurant received at least eight complaints of illness, which likely includes ill people previously reported to Public Health. Additionally, Public Health has identified at least 5 employees who experienced similar symptoms dating back to May 13.

Public Health actions

On May 16, Environmental Health investigators learned of ill employees from the restaurant management and closed the restaurant for a thorough cleaning and disinfection. Investigators visited the restaurant on May 17 to ensure appropriate disinfection was started and to gather more details about employee illnesses. Ill staff are not allowed to return to work until they are symptom-free for at least 48 hours. In addition, all foods processed prior to the restaurant being cleaned and disinfected were discarded.

Investigators revisited the restaurant on May 18 to confirm cleaning and disinfection was completed appropriately and the restaurant was allowed to re-open to the public. Investigators reviewed the requirement that ill staff are not allowed to work until they are symptom-free for at least 48 hours, and provided education about preventing the spread of norovirus — including proper handwashing and forbidding bare hand contact with ready-to-eat foods.

Laboratory testing

We do not have lab confirmation for the people who got sick. 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.

Report possible foodborne illness

About norovirus

  • 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.

Prevention

General advice for reducing risk of contracting norovirus:

  • Wash hands, cutting boards, and counters used for food preparation immediately after use to avoid cross-contamination of other foods.
  • Wash hands thoroughly with soap after using the bathroom or changing diapers, and before preparing any food or eating.
  • Wait at least 48 hours after the last episode of vomiting and/or diarrhea before preparing any food for others.

More information about norovirus

Link/share this page at www.kingcounty.gov/outbreak/italianissimo