Another Seattle restaurant dealing with E. coli concerns

SEATTLE – Another Seattle restaurant is linked to a growing E. coli outbreak. Tuesday night, we told you about King County Public Health shutting down The Matador restaurant in Ballard for E. coli concerns.  Wednesday, we’re learning two people who ate at Memo’s Mexican Food in the University District also got sick with E. coli.

“Oh, heck yeah, I come here all sorts of hours to get a burrito,” said Phillip Hodgins.

Hodgins is talking about Memo’s a 24-hour Mexican Food Shop in the U-District.  It’s now the latest eatery Seattle answering questions about food safety.  The staff dialed up their manager, Nayeli, by phone.

“He did a walk around and they did a regular inspection and they asked if anyone had been sick. And we were not sick. He asked us from the dates from August and no one had been sick and it was news to us why we were getting a report done,” said Nayeli.

Public Health releasing this statement, in part, it “identified factors that may have contributed to this foodborne illness outbreak, including improper cooling, cold holding, reheating of potentially hazardous food and the potential for cross contamination.”

Inspectors say the staff corrected the concerns on the spot and that’s why it’s still open.

“Mexican restaurants, for example, use a huge variety of fresh foods. They’re sourced all over the world.  They’re passed through a lot of hands,” said Marler Clark food safety attorney Bruce Clark.

Clark represents three people who got sick with E. coli at The Matador in Ballard.

At this point, the health department hasn’t found the source of the bacteria.

“They came in, they asked us and we gave them everything they asked us.  Every invoice and … they wanted to know where we got our stuff from. And we told them who our distributors were,” said Nayeli.

Hodgins says he’s not that worried and will eat at Memo’s again.

“It really has not as much to do with the point of sale but the distributors, the people in charge of getting these products to the restaurants,” said Hodgins.

Public Health warns if you’ve eaten at Memo’s at the end of August and experienced severe complications like bloody diarrhea, seek medical attention.