Summary

Public Health investigated an outbreak of salmonellosis (caused by Salmonella bacteria) associated with Burien Fresh Smoothies in Burien. The exact food or drink item that caused the illnesses has not been identified.

Illnesses

Since August 15, 2018, eleven people from six separate meal parties reported becoming ill after consuming food and beverage from Burien Fresh Smoothies from August 6–8, 2018. Two of the ill people were hospitalized and have since recovered. There is no indication that any employees of the restaurant have had any symptoms consistent with salmonellosis.

Public Health actions

As part of the Public Health investigation, Environmental Health investigators visited the restaurant on August 15, 2018. Investigators found that the restaurant was serving cooked pork prepared at the restaurant owner’s home, which is not an approved food safety practice. The restaurant was directed to immediately stop serving pork-based food items and to remove them from their menu.

However, on August 16, 2018, we identified a fourth ill person diagnosed with salmonellosis after eating at Burien Fresh Smoothies on August 7, 2018. This person did not eat any pork-based food items. On August 16, 2018, our Environmental Health investigators revisited the establishment and suspended its permit.

On August 17, 2018, an additional three ill people were identified (one person with lab-confirmed salmonellosis, two people with symptoms consistent with salmonellosis).

Burien Fresh Smoothies was allowed to reopen on August 20, after Public Health confirmed the restaurant completed a thorough cleaning and disinfection of their establishment, adopted safe food handling practices to minimize cross contamination risks, and discarded any remaining processed ready-to-eat food products. Additionally, Environmental Health investigators worked closely with Burien Fresh Smoothies owners to educate them about using only approved food sources. The restaurant will be allowed to sell pork-based foods once our food safety team determines the owners have secured an alternative approved source.Laboratory testing

Eight of the eleven people who got sick tested positive for Salmonella Braenderup with the same genetic fingerprint, suggesting that they have a common source of infection.

Food samples collected from the establishment tested negative for salmonella. We were not able to confirm which food or beverage caused these illnesses.