Seattle King County Public Health is investigating a cluster of five E. coli infections caused by Shiga-toxin producing E. coli (also called STEC) associated with Matador restaurant in Ballard. Four people ate on 8/14 and one person ate on 8/22. Public Health received the first report of illness on 8/22/16 and the most recent case was reported on 9/6/16. All the people developed symptoms including diarrhea and abdominal cramps. Four people developed bloody diarrhea. Three people had been hospitalized with one person developing a type of kidney injury called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). All five people have recovered.
Laboratory testing (molecular fingerprinting) has determined that all five people have the same strain of STEC bacteria. Our investigation is in progress but due to food processing equipment cleaning and the possibility of cross contamination that were observed during an inspection by our Environmental Health team, Public Health has temporarily suspended Matador’s food business permit to allow time for thorough cleaning and sanitizing. The restaurant is working cooperatively with Public Health.
Persons who have eaten at Matador and developed diarrhea within 10 days and anyone who develops bloody diarrhea should consult with their healthcare provider to determine if testing is necessary.