But for the following noticed posted on its website, the public may never have known about this Salmonella outbreak:

county_mapLast month, Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department learned of a foodborne illness outbreak in Snohomish County associated with food supplied by a Pierce County caterer, Mr. Rick’s Catering. The state Department of Health continues to investigate the outbreak, which could impact as many as 175 people in King, Kitsap, Pierce, Spokane, and other counties. While the effort to learn how many people were sickened is still underway, laboratory tests have confirmed the illness is Salmonella.

Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department has notified Mr. Rick’s Catering not to operate several times since 2012, and as a result of the incident in Snohomish County, recently issued a $710 fee for continuing to operate without a permit. In the interest of protecting public health, and because the business owner continues to advertise as a viable business, Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department has opted to name the unpermitted caterer.

“Public health focuses on keeping people safe in places where they live, learn, work and play,” said Jefferson Ketchel, environmental health director for the Snohomish Health District. “Public health partners around the region work together to advance food safety and give residents information they need to make informed decisions when eating out.”

I could not have said it better myself – give the public the information it deserves.