On the 8th of February, 2023, Public Health- Seattle and King County updated the number of individuals sickened while dining at the restaurant Tamarind Tree. Located in Seattle, Washington, the restaurant Tamarind Tree was originally reported to have sickened 17 customers; yet the number has officially now climbed to 32 infected consumers.
According to the official publication of Tamarind Tree dining-related illnesses by Public Health- Seattle and King County, the Environmental Health Investigators of Seattle “…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.” Just six days earlier, on January 18th, 2023, the same 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.” Following these observations, the Environmental Health Investigators officially closed the Tamarind Tree Restaurant on January 24th, 2023. After the restaurant met the approved cleaning requirements, Tamarind Tree reopened on February 7th, 2023.
The infected individuals reported having eaten at the Tamarind Tree Restaurant between January 14th and January 17th of this year. As confirmed by laboratory testing, ten of the 32 individuals tested positive for Shigella and six for Shigella sonnel. According to one National Food Poisoning Lawyer, Ron Simon, Shigellosis is, “an infectious disease caused by a group of bacteria called Shigella. Humans are the only natural host for Shigella (Giannella, 2010). Although less common than infection with Salmonella or Campylobacter, Shigella infection is still a significant cause of foodborne disease in the United States. In fact, Shigella causes between 10 and 20% of cases of bacterial foodborne illness every year in the United States.”
The symptoms of infected Tamarind Tree customers include stomach cramps, diarrhea and fever. If experiencing these symptoms after consuming food at Tamarind Tree Restaurant, individuals are strongly encouraged to contact their local health officials and alert the public health authorities as soon as possible.