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Seattle pub investigated in possible Salmonella outbreak

Test results are pending in an investigation into a possible Salmonella outbreak among customers of Fadó Irish Pub & Restaurant in Seattle.

At least two customers who recently ate at the chain restaurant have been confirmed with infections caused by the relatively rare Salmonella Thompson bacteria, according to a Friday update by Public Health of Seattle & King County.

Fado Irish Pub Seattle“In typical years, fewer than five cases of this strain are reported in King County,” health officials reported.

“A Public Health field investigation of the restaurant on (July 1) found several factors that could have contributed to this outbreak, including: inadequate cleaning of equipment, inadequate handwashing, and inadequate handwashing facilities. …The restaurant is working cooperatively with Public Health; a return inspection on (July 7) found that all violations were corrected.”

As of Friday, the restaurant at 801 First Avenue was open for business. It was not closed during the investigation, health department officials said Friday, because “it did not meet the criteria outlined in our closure policy and the evidence did not point to an ongoing outbreak.”

The pub manager on duty Friday afternoon did not immediately respond to requests for comment. The restaurant is one of 15 locations in a chain headquartered in Atlanta.

The two customers confirmed with the same strain of Salmonella Thompson both ate at Fadó on June 16. They were with separate meal parties, according to the health department, but they both reported eating bacon cheeseburgers and french fries. Neither required hospitalization.

“Public Health received the case reports on (June 27) and (June 28), and the common restaurant exposure was identified during a case interview on (June 29),”according to the outbreak investigation summary.

Investigators collected samples from food contact surfaces at the restaurant, but test results were not available as of the posting of the investigation summary Friday. A spokesperson from the health department said the results will probably be available next week.

“Source information will be gathered for ingredients known to be associated with salmonellosis, such as beef, lettuce and tomatoes,” according to the summary. “This information will allow health officials to trace back to the food’s point of origin if necessary in the event that additional cases are detected and specific food items are suspected.”

Health department officials reminded the public of the causes and symptoms of Salmonella infection, which can be spread “through the fecal-oral route, through contaminated food and water, or through contact with animals and their environments.”

Symptoms of salmonellosis include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, fever, chills and abdominal cramping. Illness typically lasts several days and people can spread infection to others even after symptoms resolve.

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