by Doug Powell
King County Public Health has investigated an E. coli outbreak after six – now 10 — cases of E. coli O157 were linked to Los Chilangos food trucks.
The owners of Los Chilangos stated that they are ready to reopen, but this news naturally did not sit well with the Buder family as their daughter is currently confined at Seattle Children’s Hospital. For the last 10 days, Elizabeth Buder has been fighting kidney failure in the hospital’s Intensive Care Unit.
Elizabeth has been complaining about her tummy non stop. “She’s constantly ‘My tummy. My tummy,’” said her mom, Deanna Buder. “And then she says ‘I want to see my friends. I want to see kids,’ because no kids are allowed in there. She just misses home.”
The Buder family shared a plate of carnitas at a Los Chilangos food truck last August 8. Although the mom and dad were fine, Elizabeth or Scout as people would call her, started complaining of stomach ache days later. “Normal things that a kid might get, a tummy ache, she was a little tired, she wasn’t hungry,” said Buder. However, Scout’s conditions became worse as her body released some bloody diarrhea. A trip to the emergency room confirmed the parents’ worst nightmare, as Scout’s kidney deteriorates and she has to stay in the Intensive Care Unit.
Scout is just one of the six — now 10 — confirmed positive of a dangerous strain of E.coli O157, all linked to Los Chilangos. Los Chilangos’ Bellevue and other locations were closed last Wednesday by the Public Health department. Los Chilangos serves food at seven farmers markets in King and Snohomish Counties, operates two food trucks, and also caters events. However, they were able to secure an approval to reopen on Thursday. None of the employees were positive of the disease and investigators still have not found the source of the infection.
The Buder family would like to seek more justice beyond the shutting down of the kitchen and the food truck. “”There should be consequences beyond shutting down the kitchen for a few days,” said Buder. “People need to be aware of what to look for, and then after that be aware that you shouldn’t go to this business,” she said.
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