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Shigella strikes Tamarind Tree Restaurant in Seattle



Public Health is investigating an outbreak of Shigellosis associated with Tamarind Tree Restaurant in Seattle. Symptoms reported include diarrhea, cramps, nausea, fever, chills, and vomiting.


As of January 27, 2023, 17 people from 7 separate meal parties reported becoming ill after eating food from the Tamarind Tree Restaurant. These 17 people ate at this restaurant on January 15, 16, and 17, 2023. We have not identified any ill employees. 

Public Health actions

Environmental Health Investigators visited the restaurant on January 24, 2023. They observed improper food handling practices, including blocked access to handwashing facilities, improper storage of wiping cloths, risk of cross contamination, and lack of maintenance, cleaning, and sanitizing of food equipment and physical facilities. 

Environmental Health investigators did a routine inspection on January 18, 2023. They observed several risk factors that could contribute to foodborne outbreaks, including bare hand contact with ready-to-eat foods.

Investigators closed the restaurant during their visit on January 24, 2023. The restaurant was required to complete a thorough cleaning and disinfection. 

Investigators reviewed with restaurant management the requirement that ill staff are not allowed to work until they are symptom-free for at least 48 hours. They also provided education about preventing the spread of gastrointestinal illness — including proper handwashing and preventing bare hand contact with ready-to-eat foods. 

Laboratory testing

Five of the seventeen people who became ill tested positive for Shigella. Three of those five have confirmatory testing indicating Shigella sonnei, a species of Shigella. Symptoms among those who did not get tested are suggestive of a Shigella infection.


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