Public Health is investigating an outbreak norovirus-like illness with vomiting, diarrhea, body aches, chills, and fever associated with Dave & Buster’s in Auburn. The restaurant was closed over the weekend, but as of April 8th at 5:00pm is re-open.
Symptoms Consistent With Norovirus
Since April 5, 2019, 5 people from a single meal party reported becoming ill after consuming food and beverage from Dave & Buster’s in Auburn on March 31, 2019. We have since identified at least 7 employees who experienced symptoms consistent with norovirus dating back to March 21, 2019. At least one employee worked while ill with norovirus-like symptoms.
The exact food or drink item that caused the illness was not identified, though this is not uncommon for norovirus outbreaks where multiple food items may be contaminated.
Public Health Investigation
Environmental Health investigators visited the restaurant on April 5, 2019, and learned of multiple ill employees. Investigators also learned of ill customers at the restaurant on March 30, 2019, including a customer who vomited in the play area and one that vomited in a restroom, potentially contaminating these areas with norovirus. Investigators observed that the restaurant’s cleaning solution was not adequate to kill norovirus on surfaces.
The restaurant is working cooperatively with Public Health; they closed on April 5, 2019, and remained closed through the weekend for a thorough cleaning and disinfection. All ready-to-eat foods processed before the restaurant was disinfected were discarded. Investigators reviewed 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. Restaurant management was also given guidance for use of appropriate disinfection agents against norovirus.
Investigators revisited the restaurant on April 6, 2019, to ensure appropriate cleaning and disinfection had been started and to gather more details about employee illnesses. Investigators reviewed the requirement with restaurant management and staff that ill staff are not allowed to return to work until they are symptom-free for at least 48 hours.
A third visit to the restaurant was conducted on April 8, 2019, to confirm cleaning and disinfection was completed appropriately. Investigators also conducted a training for restaurant staff on proper food-handling practices, highlighting correct handwashing and preventing bare hand contact with ready-to-eat foods. The restaurant will be allowed to reopen on April 8, 2019, at 5:00pm.
We do not have laboratory results for the people who got sick. Often in norovirus outbreaks, no laboratory testing is done. Symptoms among those who got sick are suggestive of norovirus.
The above is an investigation release from the King County Public Health Department. The Auburn Examiner has not independently verified its contents.