Maggiano's Little Italy restaurant in Bellevue closed after suspected norovirus outbreak

BELLEVUE, Wash. (AP) — Health officials have closed a Bellevue restaurant to investigate a suspected norovirus outbreak that may have sickened up to 50 people at a private event.

The Seattle Times reports ( ) officials with Public Health — Seattle & King County closed Maggiano's Little Italy and said Tuesday one or more people may have already been ill at an event Jan. 18.

Several workers at the restaurant at 10455 N.E. Eighth St. also had symptoms consistent with the highly contagious gastrointestinal illness.

No lab tests have confirmed that the illnesses are norovirus.

Health officials learned of the outbreak on Friday. They say those at the restaurant are cooperating with health officials and the restaurant will undergo a thorough cleaning and sanitizing while it's closed.

Maggiano's Little Italy issued the following statement:

"Last Wednesday, Maggiano’s became aware of a party that reported illness after visiting our restaurant in Bellevue two days prior, on Monday, January 18. We immediately reported this potential issue to the King County Health Department, and have been working closely with them to thoroughly investigate. To date, we have no confirmed diagnosis of a food-borne illness, and no other reports of any guest outside of this single party becoming ill.

"We are taking this isolated incident very seriously and have thoroughly disinfected the restaurant. We maintain strict standards of quality, safety and cleanliness in our restaurants and train every teammate in proper food safety and handling. Additionally, teammates are required to report illness to management, which results in immediate exclusion from work.   

"As we learn more, we will keep the community informed. Guests wanting more information may contact Maggiano’s at 1-844-201-1041, Monday through Friday, 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. PST."