UPDATE, SEPT. 12: The Matador restaurant in Ballard is being investigated in connection to additional E. coli cases, public health officials said Monday.
“In addition to the 5 known ill people described in our original update on Friday 9/9 who ate at Matador, we are aware of 5 other people who became ill with the same strain of E. coli as the people who ate at Matador,” a Public Health – Seattle and King County statement read.
“We are aware of 2 other Washington state residents (who are not King County residents) and 3 out-of -state residents who are positive for E. coli with the same strain of E. coli as the King County cases we previously reported on. Investigation of those cases is ongoing by their respective health departments.
“We just became aware that one of the out-of-state cases had a meal at the Matador restaurant in Ballard during the exposure period. Links to Matador have not been identified among the other out-of-county cases.”
ORIGINAL TEXT, SEPT. 10: King County health department said they’re investigating a cluster of five E. coli infections associated with the Matador restaurant in Ballard, and that restaurant was closed Friday by the health department.
The location’s food business permit was temporarily suspended.
Four of the five people who became ill ate at the Ballard Matador on August 14, and the fifth ate there August 22, health department staff said.
“Public Health received the first report of illness on 8/22/16 and the most recent case was reported on 9/6/16,” according to a statement on the department’s website. “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.”
The Matador, located at 2221 N.W. Market St. in Seattle, was closed at 5 p.m. Friday, according to the Public Health – Seattle and King County.
“Laboratory testing (molecular fingerprinting) has determined that all five people have the same strain of STEC bacteria,” according to the department statement. “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 ate at the Matador and developed diarrhea within 10 days should consult with their healthcare provider to determine if testing is necessary, county health officials warned. They also gave the same warning for patrons who developed bloody diarrhea.
The Ballard Matador is the flagship restaurant and one of four in Washington. The other locations — West Seattle, Redmond, and Tacoma — were open Friday night and early Saturday morning.
The Matador Mexican restaurant also has locations in Idaho, Denver, Colorado, Idaho, Las Vegas, and Portland, Oregon.