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AT-A-GLANCE

  • Cases: 28
  • Hospitalizations: 0
  • Deaths: 0
  • Status: Investigation is completed
  • Locations: La Fuente, 14400 SE Petrovitsky Rd, Renton, WA 98058
  • Meal date: January 25, 2019
  • Prior food safety inspections and current rating: OKAY

Highlights

Updated March 13, 2019

Summary

Public Health investigated an outbreak of norovirus-like illness with nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea associated with La Fuente in Renton.

Illnesses

Since January 29, 2019, 28 people from a single meal party reported becoming ill after consuming food and beverage from La Fuente in Renton on January 25, 2019.

Public Health actions

Environmental Health investigators visited the restaurant on January 29, 2019. Investigators learned of a possible ill customer at the restaurant on January 25, 2019. If this customer was infected with norovirus, this could have contaminated the bathroom area with norovirus. The investigators observed improper handwashing among restaurant staff and inadequate handwashing facilities. No employees reported being ill.

The restaurant closed for a thorough cleaning and sanitization. All foods processed prior to the restaurant being cleaned and sanitized were discarded. Investigators reviewed the requirement that ill staff are not allowed to work until they are symptom-free for at least 48 hours, and they provided education about preventing the spread of norovirus — including proper handwashing and preventing bare hand contact with ready-to-eat foods.

Investigators revisited the restaurant on January 30, 2019, to confirm cleaning and sanitization was completed appropriately. The restaurant was allowed to reopen on January 30, 2019, at 5:30pm.  

Laboratory testing

We do not have laboratory results 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 was not 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 contaminating 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