Health department: E. coli outbreak associated with Westminster Red Robin

WESTMINSTER, Colo. — Three people have been confirmed to have E. coli in Westminster, all three ate at the same Westminster Red Robin.

Two of them were hospitalized.

According to a news release from the Tri-County Health Department, the restaurant, at 779 W. 146th Ave., closed voluntarily July 10 for cleaning and sanitizing, food safety training for employees and testing for employees who handle the food.

One adult and two children tested positive for the bacteria E. coli O157:H7, and all three had eaten at the restaurant, according to the release. The Tri-County Health Department says none of the three individuals are related to each other, and all visited the restaurant on different nights in late June.

A food safety inspection earlier this month showed improper employee hand washing, improper cleaning and sanitizing of food preparation surfaces and cross contamination between raw meat and other prepared food, according to the release. The restaurants was cited with five critical health violations.

Ashley Richter, communicable disease epidemiology manager at the Tri-County Health Department, said the source of the E. coli has not been determined, but the Tri-County Health Department and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment are investigating the outbreak.

Symptoms of E. coli begin 1-10 days after ingesting the bacteria and include diarrhea, severe stomach pain, and sometimes fever and vomiting.

The departments ask people to contact their doctors or health care providers if they ate at that Red Robin since June 1, and developed any of the symptoms within 10 days of eating at the restaurant.

Red Robin sent FOX31 this statement in regards to the outbreak:

"Red Robin's first and foremost priority is the well-being of our guests and team members. We recently became aware of a health issue at our Orchard Town Center location in Westminster, Colorado. We believe this is an isolated incident and are working with the Tri County Health Department to conduct a thorough investigation at this location. We take these concerns very seriously and as a precaution, have voluntarily closed the location to work with our Team Members to reinforce our food handling and safety protocols. We maintain rigorous food safety standards and procedures nationwide, which comply with the most recent FDA Food Code."

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