Taste ToGo Banh Mi restaurant in Kent is back open after a three-day closure by Public Health – Seattle and King County due to an active foodborne illness outbreak investigation.
Public Health closed the restaurant at 11:40 a.m. March 3 after seven people from one party reported becoming ill after purchasing food Feb. 26 from Taste ToGo Banh Mi, 18230 E. Valley Highway in the Great Wall Mall. The restaurant serves authentic Vietnamese meals, beverages and desserts.
The food was eaten on Feb. 27 and all members of the meal party developed one or more symptoms consistent with norovirus-like illness, including vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain and chills.
Public Health reported it identified one ill employee who reported symptoms consistent with norovirus who worked on Feb. 26 and 27.
The illnesses were reported on March 2. Environmental Health Investigators visited the restaurant on March 3. Investigators identified inadequate access to hand washing facilities, according to Public Health. The restaurant closed the same day to complete a thorough cleaning and disinfection.
Environmental Health Investigators revisited the facility on Monday, March 6 to ensure proper compliance with food handling practices. The restaurant reopened that day after reinspection and approval by Environmental Health.
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 and provided education about preventing the spread of norovirus — including proper handwashing and preventing bare hand contact with ready-to-eat foods.
On its Facebook page, Taste ToGO Banh Mi has a post about the excellent food safety rating it received from Public Health – Seattle and King County in July 2022.