Prior food safety inspections and the current rating for the Al Basha Restaurant in Seattle were excellent, but Seattle-King County Public Health has associated the establishment with a September Salmonella outbreak.
The outbreak involves three confirmed cases, one hospitalization, and no deaths. The Salmonella illnesses followed meals served by Al Basha about one month ago on Sept. 15, 22, and 23.
The health department is investigating the outbreak of salmonellosis associated with the restaurant. A specific food or drink item that might have caused the illnesses has not yet been identified.
Public health officials learned after Oct. 10, 2019, that three people from three separate meal parties becoming ill after eating food from Al Basha Restaurant in Seattle between Sept. 15 and Sept. 23.
No employees of the restaurant reported having symptoms consistent with salmonellosis.
Public Health investigators visited the restaurant on Oct. 10. They did not issue a closure order.
The investigators’ inspection identified potential risk factors, including inadequate handwashing and food handling practices that could lead to cross-contamination; corrective actions were discussed with Al Basha Restaurant management and were addressed at the time of the visit.
The restaurant management was required to conduct a thorough cleaning and disinfection of the restaurant. Investigators revisited the restaurant on Oct. 11 and confirmed that the cleaning and disinfection had been completed. Investigators will revisit the restaurant within two weeks to ensure ongoing compliance with proper food handling practices.
Three people who got sick tested positive for Salmonella Enteritidis with the same genetic fingerprint, suggesting that they have a common source of infection.
Salmonellosis is a bacterial infection that is often 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 the infection to others even after symptoms resolve.
Ill persons with a suspected Salmonella infection should not work in food handling, patient care, or childcare while having vomiting or diarrhea.
Public Health says to prevent Salmonella infection:
- Wash hands with soap and water after going to the bathroom, changing diapers, touching animals, and before eating or preparing food.
- Cook all meats thoroughly, especially poultry.
- Wash cutting boards and counters used for meat or poultry preparation immediately after use to avoid cross-contaminating other foods.
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