Seattle/King County Public Health in August and September, 2015, investigated an outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 bacteria linked to Los Chilangos. Everyone who became sick had something in common – they ate food prepared by the local food vendor called Los Chilangos. The outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 bacteria was associated with the consumption of food prepared and sold by Los Chilangos. After the illnesses were reported and linked in August, Public Health took action and required Los Chilangos to cease operations.
Los Chilangos in August and September, 2015, had been preparing and selling food at seven farmers markets in King and Snohomish Counties, operated two food trucks, and also catered events.
Los Chilangos in August and September, 2015, utilized a shared kitchen space, called a commissary kitchen. The kitchen that Los Chilangos used was Eastside Commercial Kitchen, where Los Chilangos shared space and equipment with about a dozen other food businesses. Following an inspection by health officials, the condition of the Eastside Commercial Kitchen and the potential for cross contamination were deemed an imminent health hazard, and the health officer issued a cease and desist order to the commissary kitchen on Thursday, August 27. All of the other food vendors permitted by Public Health that were then using this kitchen were also told to cease operations.
On September 2, 2015, Los Chilangos was reopened. Some of the requirements by Seattle/King County Health included:
- Disposed of all food that could have potentially been a source of the outbreak
- Assured that all food workers are not ill
- Identified and signed a contract with a new commissary, which we have approved following a site inspection
- Washed, rinsed and sanitized all of their equipment before moving it to the new commissary.
- Made all staff available for additional food safety education from public health inspectors including sanitation, cross contamination, and cold and hot holding.
Eastside Commercial Kitchen reopened on September 4, following the completion of all corrective actions.
As of September 15, 2015, the health department determined that a total of thirteen people had become victims of this outbreak, and that the outbreak had been linked to food prepared by Los Chilangos.