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PCC guacamole suspected in Seattle E. coli outbreak

Seattle Times - 3/24/2024

Mar. 24—A small outbreak of E. coli last month may have come from guacamole purchased at a PCC in West Seattle, King County health officials said Saturday.

Five people who'd purchased the PCC-brand guacamole showed symptoms of E. coli poisoning, which include diarrhea, vomiting and cramps, according to the county. One person was hospitalized.

The outbreak seems to be over, the county said.

Officials can't confirm the product caused the infections, but it is the most likely culprit, according to the county's announcement. The county visited the store this month and gave it a satisfactory rating. No employees were been reported to have been sick with STEC, or Shiga toxin-producing E. coli.

Company policy requires all employees sick with diarrhea or vomiting to stay home from work until they are symptom-free for 24 hours.

E. coli are a bacteria that live in the gut of humans and other animals. Certain strains, like STEC, can progress into serious and even life-threatening illness. It is spread by consuming contaminated food and water. People infected with STEC can pass it into food if they prepare it without first washing their hands.


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