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Taste ToGo Banh Mi in Kent, WA linked to Norovirus-like illness outbreak
2 weeks ago
18230 East Valley Highway, Kent, 98032 Washington, United States
The Seattle & King County Public Health announced they are investigating an outbreak of norovirus-like illness linked to Taste ToGo Banh Mi restaurant located at 18230 E Valley Hwy #153, Kent, WA 98032. To date, 7 seven people from a single meal party have reported becoming ill after eating food from the restaurant on February 26th, 2023. The food was eaten the following day, and all members of the party developed one or more symptoms consistent with norovirus-like illness. Also, Public Health has identified 1 ill employee who reported symptoms consistent with norovirus who worked on February 26 and 27, 2023. No hospitalizations or deaths have been reported in connection to the outbreak.
At this time, The restaurant was given a rating of "Needs to Improve" in its most recent inspection. In response to the outbreak, public health officials visited the restaurant on March 3rd and identified inadequate access to hand washing facilities. The restaurant was closed on the same day in order to complete a thorough cleaning and disinfection. Environmental health investigators will revisit the facility on Monday, March 6th to ensure proper compliance with food handling practices. The restaurant will only be allowed to reopen after reinspection and approval by environmental health.
In addition to cleaning and disinfecting, investigators also reviewed with restaurant management 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 preventing bare hand contact with ready-to-eat foods.
Norovirus is very contagious and is easily transmitted from person to person most through the oral/fecal route. Considering that hand sanitizer does NOT work against this virus, it is important to wash your hands with soap frequently. Use bleach to clean and disinfect surfaces.
In case you experience vomiting, diarrhea, and nausea, report it now. It can help to detect & resolve outbreaks early and prevent others from being harmed, and it enables better surveillance. If symptoms persist, seek medical care.
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