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Seattle health officials close down food vendor after norovirus reports

Friday, November 11, 2016 10:14
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Public health officials in Seattle have shut down two Indian food vendor locations in Redmond, WA, after a dozen presumed norovirus cases were reported.

According to an announcement from Public Health – Seattle & King County, 12 people from a single party became ill with nausea, vomiting and diarrhea after eating food associated with Mayuri Foods & Video and Mayuri Indian Cuisine on Oct. 30.

The agency noted that health officials first learned of the problem on Nov. 1.

“We do not have laboratory confirmation of the etiology, but symptoms are suggestive of norovirus. Often in norovirus outbreaks no laboratory testing is done. Food came from both vendors, but the exact food item that caused the illnesses has not been identified. It is not uncommon for outbreaks of norovirus to have multiple food items contaminated,” the announcement stated.

Both Mayuri Foods & Video, 2560 152nd Ave. N.E., Redmond, and Mayuri Indian Cuisine, 2115 Bel-Red Rd., Redmond, are cooperating with the outbreak investigation, officials said. Meanwhile, both were closed to give them time to do a thorough cleaning and sanitizing of their operations.

“An inspection of Mayuri Foods & Video identified several factors that could have contributed to this outbreak, including failure to wash hands, inadequate hand-washing facilities, and inadequate sanitizing of dishes,” according to Public Health – Seattle & King County’s announcement.

However, the agency added that no contributing factors were identified during a health inspection of Mayuri Indian Cuisine.

Norovirus is a highly contagious virus that is frequently spread 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.

Anyone with norovirus symptoms should wait at least 48 hours after their last episode of vomiting and/or diarrhea before preparing food for others, health officials said.

Other recommendations are to wash hands with soap and water after using the toilet or changing diapers and before preparing food or eating. Also, because raw seafood can be contaminated with norovirus, always cook shellfish and other seafood thoroughly before eating it.

No vaccine is available for norovirus. For more information, go here.

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