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Updated June 5, 2018


Public Health investigated an outbreak of norovirus with nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea associated with Lockspot Cafe in Seattle.


Since May 16, Public Health has learned of 4 people from three separate meal parties who became ill after consuming food and beverage from Lockspot Cafe between May 12–16, 2018.

Public Health actions

Environmental Health investigators visited and closed the restaurant on May 17. Investigators did not find any risk factors that are known to contribute to the spread of norovirus. No ill employees were identified. The restaurant was required to conduct a thorough cleaning and disinfection. In addition, all foods processed prior to the restaurant being cleaned and disinfected were discarded.

Investigators revisited on May 18 and May 22 to confirm cleaning and disinfection was completed appropriately. The restaurant was allowed to re-open to the public on May 22. Investigators reviewed the requirement that any 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 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 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.


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

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