Public health officials are investigating an outbreak of Salmonella infections associated with CrackleMi Café in Seattle.

The restaurant closed on Sept. 20 because of the outbreak and the results of an inspection.

There are currently three patients confirmed with lab testing. All three have the same strain of Salmonella, and all three reported eating at the restaurant before becoming ill. The patients reported eating banh mi sandwiches made with pork, chicken, and egg. The restaurant is located at 709 N 35th Street in Seattle.

All three people developed one or more symptoms consistent with salmonellosis, including nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, bloody stool, and fever. 

The health department did not identify any ill employees.

Patients range in age from 23 to 38 years old. None have required hospitalization, and none have died.

The patients ate at the implicated restaurant between Aug. 7 and 17. Anyone who ate at the restaurant during or after those dates and became ill is asked to contact Seattle & King County Public Health.

The health department inspected the restaurant on Sept. 19 and 20 and found 

“Investigators reviewed the restaurant’s food preparation process that could result in cross contamination between different types of meats or other ingredients. They observed factors that may have contributed to the outbreak, such as risk of cross-contamination, improper handwashing, and improper glove use. The facility voluntarily closed to clean and disinfect on September 20, 2023. Public Health Investigators will verify cleaning and disinfection before reopening,” according to a notice from the health department.

About Salmonella infections
Food contaminated with Salmonella bacteria does not usually look, smell, or taste spoiled. Anyone can become sick with a Salmonella infection. According to the CDC, infants, children, seniors, and people with weakened immune systems are at higher risk of serious illness because their immune systems are fragile.

Anyone who has eaten at the implicated restaurant and developed symptoms of Salmonella infection should seek medical attention. Sick people should tell their doctors about the possible exposure to Salmonella bacteria because special tests are necessary to diagnose salmonellosis. Salmonella infection symptoms can mimic other illnesses, frequently leading to misdiagnosis.

Symptoms of Salmonella infection can include diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever within 12 to 72 hours after eating contaminated food. Otherwise, healthy adults are usually sick for four to seven days. In some cases, however, diarrhea may be so severe that patients require hospitalization.

Older adults, children, pregnant women, and people with weakened immune systems, such as cancer patients, are more likely to develop severe illness and serious, sometimes life-threatening conditions.

Some people get infected without getting sick or showing any symptoms. However, they may still spread the infections to others.